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IMC students travel to Pontotoc to help local farmer’s market with brand identity

Posted on: March 8th, 2022 by ldrucker

Giving students a #realworldrightnow experience is one of the things that separates the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media from other programs.

Students here have many opportunities to participate in experiential learning adventures offering real world knowledge about the journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) fields.

Scott Fiene, associate professor of IMC, recently led a group of students to Pontotoc and Greenwood, where they conducted research for class projects.

An IMC capstone campaigns course is working with the nearby community of Pontotoc to develop and promote a brand identity for the local farmer’s market. On Feb. 14, some of the students went there to look around, ask questions and get ideas. They met with Mayor Bob Peebles, Assistant Fire Chief Jeremy Maxey and Chamber of Commerce Director Beth Waldo. Those pictured include: IMC students Jack Whitaker, Zoe Barnes, Mary Chapman Johnson, Mayor Peebles; students Anna Grace Newsom, Wilson Coke and Isabelle McLeod; Farmer’s Market Director Julia McDowell, and Associate Professor Scott Fiene.

An IMC capstone campaigns course is working with the nearby community of Pontotoc to develop and promote a brand identity for the local farmer’s market. Those pictured include: IMC students Jack Whitaker, Zoe Barnes, Mary Chapman Johnson, Mayor Peebles; students Anna Grace Newsom, Wilson Coke and Isabelle McLeod; Farmer’s Market Director Julia McDowell, and Associate Professor Scott Fiene.

In Pontotoc, Fiene’s class is working to build a brand and increase awareness of the local farmer’s market.

“Pontotoc County is one of the tops in Mississippi in terms of truck gardens and raising garden produce, so the market has the potential to be a huge draw, not just in the county but in surrounding areas as well,” he said.

Five teams of students are working to develop a name, logo, web, and social media brand identity. They are also researching specific recommendations for communicating the market to various target audiences.

“Traveling to see the client and the product/service is very beneficial,” Fiene said. “That’s how we learn what we’re promoting and get a sense for the communities and the people our campaign will reach.”

The School of Journalism and New Media is focused on preparing students for long and successful careers in IMC and journalism, so Interim Dean Dr. Deb Wenger says experiences like this are essential parts of that process.

“Our students leave school with a portfolio of work that helps them show employers what they are capable of doing. Our faculty understand what the workplace requires and they dedicate countless hours to ensuring that our students are ready for that first job,” Wenger said.

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students win awards

Posted on: March 7th, 2022 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students consistently win awards. Here are some of their recent honors.

Students won the following awards in the NATIONAL Associated Collegiate Press 2021 contest.

  • NewsWatch Ole Miss was named one of seven Pacemaker national finalists. Pacemakers honor overall excellence for “best of the best.” Judges take into consideration frequency of broadcast, whether the newscast is recorded or live and school enrollment. The broadcast Pacemaker award is relatively new; it was added as a category in 2020. Brian Barisa was NewsWatch student manager in 2020-21.
  • Kaylee Crafton, NewsWatch anchor/correspondent, won 4th place in the broadcast news or feature category for her package about UM remote education during the pandemic in fall 2020 (Ole Miss Parents and Students Concerned with Quality of Education).
  • The Daily Mississippian Photo Editor Hannah Grace Biggs won 5th place for sports game/action photo, for her coverage of an Ole Miss vs. Arkansas football game.
  • Rabria Moore and Billy Schuerman were awarded honorable mention in the multimedia news story category for a project they worked on with adjunct assistant professor Ellen Meacham.

    Here is a brief update on what some of our 2020 and 2021 SMC student leaders are doing:

    Award

Hadley Hitson, Report for America reporter assigned to the Montgomery Advertiser to cover rural South and Black Belt communities;

Eliza Noe, environmental/education reporter at Craig Press in Craig, Colorado;

Brian Barisa, producer, KXII-TV in Sherman, Texas;

Maddie Nolan, December 2021 graduate and NewsWatch student manager for fall semester, reporter for WAPT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi;

Billy Schuerman, graduate student in visuals communication at Ohio University, headed to an internship in photography at the Virginian-Pilot this summer;

Daniel Payne (2020 graduate), recently promoted at Politico in D.C. from fellowship to full reporter on the global health care beat.

Aman scores position with Dallas Cowboys Creative Media Department

Posted on: March 2nd, 2022 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate who wasn’t afraid to tackle what Ole Miss Sports Productions threw at her has scored a position with the Dallas Cowboys.

When Madison Aman was in high school, she photographed and videoed local sporting events. That helped her land a job with UM’s campus television station NewsWatch and Ole Miss Sports Productions.

Today, she is an editor and producer for the Dallas Cowboys Creative Media Department, which journeys with the team to document their activities and tell their stories.

The Dallas native, who studied broadcast journalism with a minor in digital media studies and an arts emphasis, was a sports anchor at NewsWatch for about a year. She interned with Ole Miss Sports Productions from 2015-to 2019 gaining experience that led to her current job.

Madison Atman videos an athlete.

Madison Aman videos an athlete.

“After I graduated, I was able to get a job at the Dallas Cowboys (through former Ole Miss and journalism school alum, Dave Kennedy),” she said. “I started out in the broadcast department, where my main job was to create several documentaries about former Dallas Cowboys players.”

After her first Cowboys season ended in 2019, Aman began creating what became an Emmy-nominated documentary that she continued working on throughout the initial wave of COVID-19 in 2020. She remained in the broadcast department until the summer of 2021 when she was promoted to the newly-created Creative Media Department as an editor and producer.

Aman just finished her first season in the new position.

“I was able to shoot on the sidelines at the games, travel with the team, and continue to create storytelling videos for the Dallas Cowboys’ social media accounts,” she said.

During the season, a typical week can be busy. Aman shoots practices and creates videos for the Cowboys’ Social Media Department. She also helps produce sponsored videos at different locations throughout Dallas.

Their work all leads up to promoting the big game on Sunday. If it is a home game, the department of six (including Aman) travels to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Aman said she typically shoots the game from the sidelines and hands footage off to one of the editors to quickly post to social media. Once the game ends, they start over working to create the best content they can leading up to the next game.

Madison Atman today works for the Dallas Cowboys. Here she stands in front of a blue wall.

Madison Aman today works for the Dallas Cowboys.

“One of the reasons I picked this career was that I am able to do something different each day, whether that be shooting practice, events, etc., and/or editing a video for social,” she said. “Having a career in sports is such a fast-paced environment, but it provides the opportunity to meet so many new people and experience so many new things.”

Aman said her time at Ole Miss Sports Productions prepared her for working in real-world situations in this field.

“I love being able to tell the story of the person underneath the jersey and below the lights,” she said. “It’s such a unique opportunity and a big privilege that most do not have, and I am grateful for it every day.”

Her advice to other professionals in the field is to take care of yourself mentally and physically.

“You don’t have many chances to catch a break during the season, but it’s important to take care of yourself so that you can continue to stay fresh and create the best content possible,” she said.

Another tip: appreciate each moment.

“I think a lot of people in this career field get so used to being so close to the action, that it can become very ‘normal,’” she said. “But each week and each game is an experience that so few people in the world get to have. We have the opportunity to change and inspire others through our work and on such a large stage as well.  It’s important to never lose touch with that and to always stay focused.”

Aman said student journalists should stay focused and shouldn’t get discouraged.

“The sports media world can be quite intimidating,” she said. “But don’t lose sight of your goals and dreams for yourself. I would’ve never been where I am today if it wasn’t for believing in myself and pushing myself to meet the goals that I have.”

She also advises students to get out and shoot games at any level.

“It’s important to have experience and practically required to have a reel in addition to your resume,” she said. “In high school, I was able to shoot our football and basketball games. Through that, I used that experience and footage to help me get jobs at NewsWatch and Ole Miss Sports Productions.”

Debora Wenger, interim dean of the School of Journalism and New Media, agrees that it’s important to gain experience in your field while in college.

Madison Atman today works for the Dallas Cowboys is seen shooting video of an athlete.

Madison Aman, who today works for the Dallas Cowboys, shoots video of an athlete.

“One of the things about pre-professional programs like ours is that employers will expect you to already have had some experience doing journalism or creative work before you get hired,” she said. “Our Student Media Center and other experiential learning opportunities help you build the kind of portfolio that can really help you get that first job.”

Wenger said dozens of our students work or intern with UM Athletics every year.

“The students who love sports broadcasting, marketing and production get an incredible experience when they go to work for Athletics, and we offer many additional opportunities for students who are passionate about sports.”

Micah Ginn, associate athletics director of Sports Productions and Creative Services, said student workers from journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) have been an important part of what they do.

“We’ve had students plug in during their undergrad years and carry that over into graduate assistantships,” Ginn said. “We’ve also had students work here and use the experience to quickly land a job after graduation.

“We provide real-world opportunities for our student workers with the goal being that we are able to do more for our sports programs with the extra help, and the students develop skills that make them confident and ready to enter the workforce.”

Aman shot local football games for NewsWatch and continued to add to her reel, which allowed her to shoot larger events at Ole Miss Sports Production (OMSP).

“Through OMSP, I was on the sidelines shooting football games and shooting practice, which led me to the job I have today,” she said. “I’d tell students that they don’t always have to start at the top pro/collegiate level, but can start at the bottom with high school sports and work their way up. Don’t get discouraged and never lose focus on your dreams.”

For more information about our programs, visit https://jnm.olemiss.edu/

IMC Connect! will bring together industry practitioners, academic researchers, faculty and students

Posted on: February 15th, 2022 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is excited to host the inaugural IMC Connect!: A Roundtable Experience at the University of Mississippi in on Oxford March 31 and April 1.

We are honored to welcome to Farley Hall communication executives from some of the most prominent organizations in the world, along with the leading researchers in their respective fields, including:

  • Chris Chiames, Chief Communications Officer, Carnival Cruise Line
  • Stephen Holmes, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs, The Home Depot
  • Reade Tidwell, Director of Corporate Communications, Chick-fil-A
  • Jenny D. Robertson, Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing and Communications, FedEx Services
  • Renee Malone, President & Founding Partner, KQ Communications
  • Timothy Coombs, Professor in the Department of Communication, Texas A&M University
  • Rebecca Britt, Associate Professor in the College of Communication & Information Sciences, The University of Alabama
  • Candice Edrington, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, The University of South Carolina
  • Debbie Treise, Professor in the Department of Advertising, The University of Florida, and Executive Director of the American Academy of Advertising

“The purpose of this event is to foster connections and collaborations among multiple stakeholders, including integrated marketing communications practitioners, academic researchers, faculty members, and students,” said Dr. Amanda Bradshaw, co-chair of IMC Connect! and assistant professor at the School of Journalism and New Media.

Throughout this round table experience, students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to network and participate in many working sessions, including a discussion of the IMC curriculum at the University of Mississippi and how to best prepare our students for entering the job market.

To aid in these efforts, IMC Connect! 2022 features a Q&A Job Prep Panel: The Connection Between Research and Practice hosted by the University of Mississippi Public Relations Student Society of America chapter on March 31.

The following day, invited guests will come together at the Inn at Ole Miss for four panel sessions, which will include valuable insights and knowledge on the following topics: crisis communication, social media and big data analytics, advertising and building your brand, and the role of advocacy and social justice in public relations.

The School of Journalism and New Media is excited to give these distinguished guests the ultimate Ole Miss/Oxford experience filled with Southern hospitality, which includes a private tour of Rowan Oak, a walking campus tour, and so much more.

IMC Connect! 2022 is open to journalism and integrated marketing communication (IMC) students and faculty from the School of Journalism and New Media. Students and faculty may register for the event using the official UM GivePulse platform. Pre-registration is required, and you must put in your UM login credentials to register.

Click here to learn more about the exciting IMC Connect! 2022 agenda, or contact event co-chairs, Drs. Amanda Bradshaw or Robert Magee, for more information. Asbrads1@olemiss.edu; rgmagee@olemiss.edu

Fagans to speak about ‘Seeing the Unseen’ at TEDxUniversityofMississippi

Posted on: February 10th, 2022 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor will be one of the featured speakers at the upcoming TEDxUniversityofMississippi talk set for Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. inside the Ford Center for Performing Arts.

Michael Fagans, assistant professor of journalism, said he was nominated to speak and asked to create a pitch video for his TEDx talk.

“The working title for my talk is ‘Seeing the Unseen,'” he said. “I will be talking about literal blind spots that we have, societal blind spots, and how much of our vision is really in focus. I will be using examples of my work to talk about expanding how we might see each other and the world.”

Michael Fagans, assistant professor of journalism, will be featured in the next TEDxUniversityofMississippi event Feb. 22.

Michael Fagans, assistant professor of journalism, will be featured in the next TEDxUniversityofMississippi event Feb. 22.

The theme of this year’s event is “New Avenues.” Speakers were asked to think about what New Avenues people, communities, and organizations are exploring to optimize outcomes. What New Avenues were explored in the past that led us to our current situations? What New Avenues are being explored now that will shape our future?

“I am in the process of re-working part of the talk after giving a dry run two weeks ago to two students and their advisor,” he said. “I will be working with a colleague to edit down the images and tighten up which anecdotes carry the theme of really seeing the world for what is there.”

Fagans said he’s planning to end the talk with a quote from photographer Jay Maisel. It reads: “Seeing the world from even a two-degree difference helps you see an entirely new world.”

“I am hopeful that my talk, showing images, and telling the stories behind the images, will help attendees see the world from a new perspective, especially with the other talks by faculty and community members,” Fagans said.

Interim Dean for the School of Journalism and New Media Dr. Deb Wenger said she is delighted to see one of the school’s faculty members showcased in this venue.

“We have many dedicated teachers in our programs, and Prof. Fagans is one who brings a deep commitment to helping students think about the world and the work they do in new ways,” Wenger said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how his talk reflects this approach.”

A working photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, Fagan’s journey has taken him to the Navajo Nation, Malawi, India, Austria, Afghanistan, Scotland, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Belize and Guatemala, according to his TEDxUniversityofMississippi bio.  He is also the author of three books on iPhone photography with Amherst Media.

His documentary film “The Trafficked Life” helped raise over $50,000 that was donated to 10 nonprofits working to combat human trafficking in California’s Central Valley, the bio reads. Fagans is currently in post-production on a documentary about David Sheffield, a UM alum, who staged a play on campus in partnership with Theater Oxford and the Department of Theatre & Film at UM.

TEDxUniversityofMississippi invites a diverse group of speakers to share innovative, creative, and thought-provoking talks on a different theme each year. Led by a group of student volunteers, the event shares ideas from outside Mississippi that can impact Mississippians in a positive way.

The evening of curated Talks each year is designed to spark conversation in the community and beyond. The  Talks are published on the nationally and internationally browsed TEDx Youtube channel, free of charge.

To learn more about the speakers, visit https://www.tedxuniversityofmississippi.com/speakers

To learn more about the event, visit: https://www.tedxuniversityofmississippi.com/

Morgan named fellow at Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

Posted on: February 8th, 2022 by ldrucker

Dr. R.J. Morgan, an award-winning teacher and director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association, has been named a Fellow at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss, according to chairman Charles Overby.

His role at the center will focus primarily on scholastic media, journalism education and related topics. He will also coordinate scheduling and operations for the center and function as a liaison between it and the School of Journalism and New Media, where he is an instructional associate professor.

“R.J. has the practical experience, enthusiasm and engaging personality that students love,” Overby said. “He will help energize the Overby Center, and he will help promote First Amendment values for our next generation.”

R.J. Morgan speaks at a podium.

R.J. Morgan.

Morgan is a nationally-recognized speaker, judge and scholar in the field of high school journalism. He has served as MSPA director since 2013 and recently launched the Integrated Marketing Communication Association, a national high school media/marketing organization housed at the University of Mississippi.

He sits on executive/advisory boards for multiple scholastic media organizations, serves on the national certification committee for the Journalism Education Association, and was named Awards Chair for the Scholastic Media division of the Association for Educators of Journalism and Mass Communication last fall. He received the Elizabeth Dickey Distinguished Service Award from the Southern Interscholastic Press Association in 2018 and earned Master Journalism Educator status from JEA in 2020.

“I’ve been involved in student media in one role or another since I was in the eighth grade,” Morgan said. “The time I spent on my high school and college newspaper staffs was easily the most influential and rewarding experience of my educational career, so being able to help create those same powerful learning environments for successive generations of students has become my life’s work. As a lifelong Southerner and a strong First Amendment advocate, I am beyond excited to continue these efforts through the Overby Center.”

Among other university appointments, Morgan is a member of the School of Journalism and New Media’s executive committee and leads the school’s Talbert Fellows honors cohort. He was elected to the University of Mississippi Faculty Senate in 2021.

Morgan has a Ph.D. in K-12 education leadership from the University of Mississippi. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Mississippi State University and began his teaching career at Starkville High School, where he received several honors including STAR Teacher, Third Congressional District Teacher of the Year and the Paul Cuicchi Innovative Educator Award.  He also advised the school’s newspaper, yearbook and broadcast programs and was thrice named MSPA Adviser of the Year.

Morgan spent 16 years covering college sports for The Associated Press and has written pieces for Religion Unplugged, Sporting News magazine, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and the Memphis Commercial Appeal, among others. He is currently working on his first book-length project about the folk and civil rights movements of the early 1960s.

UM grad Maria Martin still winning the game as sports anchor, reporter at 11Alive in Atlanta

Posted on: January 24th, 2022 by ldrucker

Maria Martin, a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate, has been in the game of sports reporting since graduating in 2014. Her latest win is working at 11Alive, WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

“I am a sports anchor and reporter,” she said. “I have a podcast, a 30-minute sports show every Sunday, and the daily responsibilities and grind of being in a top market.”

A native of the West Palm Beach, Florida area, Martin graduated from UM in 2014, earning a degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in English.

“After I graduated from UM, I moved back home and worked three different jobs trying to break into the sports industry whatever way possible,” she said. “I worked in the University of Miami communications department doing everything from shooting practice video to doing sit-down interviews with players during fall camp.”

Maria Martin

Maria Martin

Martin also worked at “SEC on CBS” as a production assistant, traveling the country with the team and learning from the sideline reporter. At ESPN West Palm on WPTV, she was involved in both radio and television, preparing for an opportunity.

“A coworker of mine at WPTV told me I really needed to go somewhere where I got on-camera opportunities every day,” she said, “so I took the leap and did exactly that. I built my reel up and found my next landing spot to be Montgomery, Alabama with WSFA. This was my first full-time on-air position in the television business, and I was the weekend sports anchor and reporter.”

Martin stayed there for three years.

“It was the best decision I ever made professionally and personally,” she said. “I grew exponentially being on camera consistently every day. I covered three straight national championships, three straight SEC championships, a Final Four, a College World Series, multiple first-round draft picks in the NFL, and even the first overall pick in MLB.”

Martin said it was an incredible ride with a lot of national sports exposure and experience.

“I genuinely believe that having small market experience is crucial for young journalists,” she said.

From there, Martin took the job at 11Alive, WXIA-TV in Atlanta where much is expected daily.

“I am never not busy at work, especially in a sports market like Atlanta,” she said. “I’m always either live on location, turning a feature story, aiming to break sports news, anchoring shows, or working on long-form projects.”

Martin hosts a 30-minute sports show every Sunday called “Sports Extra,” featuring several guests who have in-depth conversations about sports teams in the market.

“Traditionally, it has been radio personalities, former athletes and beat writers in the market,” she said. “This year, I’ve started to push the show a step further and get coaches, current athletes and general managers on to keep the rotation of guests exciting.”

She also created her own podcast called “Married to the Game,” for which she “interviews coaches’ and athletes’ wives to show the side of sports the average fan never gets to hear from.”

“I am a football coach’s wife,” she said, “so it is easy for me to be empathetic towards the difficult, but an incredible lifestyle that comes with that.”

Martin said challenges in her industry include traveling a lot for work, and many companies don’t pay beginning journalists well compared to the long hours they put in. She often works until midnight or later and on holidays. Free weekends are rare in sports, she said.

Her advice to other industry professionals: Find what makes you unique and use that to your advantage.

“Find your own voice,” she said. “Oftentimes, when you’re just getting started as a journalist, you try to replicate what someone else is doing or has done. The moment you find your own voice is when you can start honing in on your craft and pushing yourself to new heights professionally.”

Tip #2: Jump out of your comfort zone often.

“It only helps you become more well-rounded as a journalist,” she said. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. I am as passionate as they come when it comes to sports journalism, and I truly hope that’s evident by you watching even two minutes of my work, but I am incredibly blessed to do this every day.

“It’s a lot of work. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get to where I am and where I know I’m going. But I’m talking about sports and meeting incredible people every day. This job is rewarding and fun, and I hope you remember that, especially when it gets hard.”

Her advice to students: Throw yourself at every opportunity that arises in college.

“That also means not putting yourself in one box when it comes to journalism,” she said. “Bosses want to know you can do it all these days. The more people you can connect with and show that you’re driven and eager to learn, the better off you are when it comes to getting a job.”

Another tip for students is: Always be willing to take criticism.

“It’s how you will grow,” she said. “Understand that this job takes tremendous sacrifice. I graduated in 2014, and after this football season will be the first time in my entire career I will have Friday and Saturday off. Sports are on the weekends. Sports happen on holidays. It’s incredibly rewarding, but just make sure you’re passionate about it.”

Her last tip: Be kind.

“Above all else, kindness wins in this industry,” she said. “It helps you break stories, build relationships, and climb the ladder in this wild business. I love talking to young, aspiring journalists, so please reach out to me.”

You can find Martin on LinkedIn.

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

Posted on: January 5th, 2022 by ldrucker

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

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

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

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

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

Amanda Compton-Ortiz

Amanda Compton-Ortiz

Seaside Social News debuted July 31, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on: November 22nd, 2021 by ldrucker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The University of Mississippi PRSSA chapter members.

The University of Mississippi PRSSA chapter members.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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QR code

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on: November 3rd, 2021 by ldrucker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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