School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘Public Relations’

Meek School continues to experience growth

Posted on: September 15th, 2018 by ldrucker

OXFORD, Miss. – The Meek School of Journalism and New Media continues to experience significant growth. Enrollment increased 5.6 percent, growing from 1,557 students in fall 2017 to 1,644 this year. The Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications accounted for much of this growth, with an 11.7 percent increase in enrollment.

The university experienced strong growth across a number of graduate and undergraduate programs.

“The desire to maintain excellence and a caring environment within our academic programs led us to add faculty and staff in such areas as our Meek School of Journalism and Patterson School of Accountancy,” said Noel Wilkin, UM provost and executive vice chancellor. “We also have added new programs to be responsive to the changing national economy and emerging fields.”

The University of Mississippi enrolled 23,258 students across its six campuses for fall 2018 – fourth-highest enrollment in the university’s history – while its first-year retention rate climbed to 86 percent, second-highest in school history.

Total 2018 enrollment reflects a 2.2 percent decrease from last year. At the same time, the university continues to rank among the nation’s fastest-growing universities, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, as national demographic trends have produced a 5.2 percent decrease in the number of college and university students across the country since 2010.

During a decade of unprecedented growth, the university has adopted a series of progressive steps to manage growth to maintain the quality of the student experience and the expected level of service. As a result, the university is attracting a higher proportion of well-prepared students to its excellent academic programs while maintaining its commitment to access.

“We are seeing the benefits of a number of investments and strategic choices made in recent years to assure a stellar academic and campus life experience for students,” Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter said. “Students at the University of Mississippi study in high-quality academic programs, bolstered by an academic support system that enables them to stay on track, graduate and compete effectively in today’s global job market.”

Another Accomplished Freshmen Class

This year’s freshman class of 3,455 students delivers on several indicators that reflect the university’s ongoing focus on academic excellence. Over the last five years, the average ACT score has increased from 24.1 to 25.1. Likewise, the average GPA has grown from 3.46 in fall 2013 to 3.57 – a testament to the outstanding programs created by UM faculty that attract high-quality students.

This year’s first-time students include 84 class valedictorians, 48 salutatorians, 96 student body presidents, 100 Eagle Scouts and nine Girl Scouts who achieved the Gold Award, the organization’s highest youth honor.

The university continued to attract high-achieving students from across the state and nation.

This fall, the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College enrolled a record 1,605 students, a 7.2 percent increase over last year’s class and more than double the enrollment of 781 students from fall 2008. This includes 416 new Honors College enrollees, with 55.8 percent of them Mississippi residents.

The Honors College class posted an average ACT of 31.5 and an average high school GPA of 3.98.

The Provost Scholars program, which recruits and rewards high-achieving students with special seminars, workshops and other academic opportunities, has enjoyed significant growth from 394 students when the program was established in 2010 to 2,704 scholars this fall.

The freshman class also includes seven Stamps Scholarship recipients, among the largest and most prestigious scholarships in the state. Funded through the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, the 13th class of Stamps Scholars includes 230 students nationwide selected from almost 300,000 applicants. UM is among only 41 universities nationally that is able to admit Stamps Scholars.

Along with exceptional scholars, the university attracts students uniquely interested in being campus leaders in the short term and state, national and global leaders in the long term, said Brandi Hephner LaBanc, UM vice chancellor for student affairs.

“The Ole Miss experience provides flagship academic programs coupled with personalized and transformative engagement programs where students develop holistically and excel as leaders,” Hephner LaBanc said.

Supportive Environment Resulting in Higher Retention and Graduation

The university’s focus on investing and fostering a supportive academic environment continues to return great dividends. With efforts to help new students adjust to college life and achieve success, including programs such as the First Year Experience and FASTrack, student retention remained near record levels, with 86 percent of last year’s first-time students returning to continue their studies this fall.

Retention rates have climbed steadily since 2015, when student retention efforts and programs were combined within the Center for Student Success and First Year Experience. In addition, the university took steps to enhance coordination across all first-year programs and collaborate on piloting new ideas.

The center provides academic advising to about 80 percent of the freshman class and other students who have not declared a major, and it coordinates several first-year student experience initiatives. The center also offers resources targeting the needs of approximately 1,300 students who are veterans of the military or their dependents.

“Enrollment is not simply about attracting more students; it is about helping students at all levels of personal and academic preparation succeed (and) first-year retention is the primary indicator of a university’s ability to do this,” Hephner LaBanc said. “Through our myriad academic, residential and leadership communities, our students find meaningful connections with faculty and staff, resulting in unparalleled levels of support and a true sense of care and community.”

The university also recently recorded its highest-ever five-year graduation rate and anticipates similar gains for the six-year graduation rate when it is announced later this fall. That graduation rate data will be fueled in part by a distinction for the Class of 2018, which earned 910 degrees in STEM fields – the highest number of STEM degrees ever conferred by the university.

Since 2013, STEM degrees awarded by the university have increased 117 percent.

The Mississippi University of Choice

A clear majority of Ole Miss students, 58.3 percent, are residents of Mississippi, representing 221 high schools across all the state’s 82 counties. At the same time, the university continues to attract a geographically diverse student body as nonresident students, who make up 41.7 percent of the student body, come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 90 foreign countries.

For the Oxford and regional campuses, minority enrollment totals 4,821 students, or 23.6 percent. African-American enrollment totals 2,559 students, or 12.5 percent of overall enrollment. The university experienced a 6.3 percent increase in the number of African-American transfer students.

The university’s focus on investing and fostering a supportive academic environment continues to return great dividends. With efforts to help new students adjust to college life and achieve success, including programs such as the First Year Experience and FASTrack, student retention remained near record levels, with 86 percent of last year’s first-time students returning to continue their studies this fall. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Enrolling for a Healthier Mississippi

Enrollment at the University of Mississippi Medical Center saw a 1.7 percent decrease to 2,840 students, but the UM School of Medicine enrolled its largest class ever. After opening its new building last August, the school has enrolled 165 first-year medical students, up from 155 last year.

In only its second year, the John D. Bower School of Population Health’s enrollment grew from five students to 24. One of only three population health schools in the United States, it has been designed to offer new strategies and capacity to improve health status of Mississippians.

“We are working hard to grow the physician workforce in Mississippi,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UM vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school. “As we graduate more students, we’re also proud of the fact that we are among the most effective schools at retaining our medical graduates to practice in-state, ranking sixth in the nation.”

Continued Academic Growth at All Levels

 

The Patterson School of Accountancy continues to offer innovative graduate programs that reflect the university’s commitment to the future of the audit and tax professions. Enrollment in accountancy graduate programs has skyrocketed 66 percent, thanks in part to two new degrees developed in partnership with KPMG in the high-growth field of data analytics.

The Master of Accountancy and Data Analytics and the Master of Taxation and Data Analytics both require 30 credit hours to complete and are the only programs of their kind in the state.

For eight consecutive years, the school’s undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs have been ranked among the nation’s top 10 by Public Accounting Report.

The university’s biomedical engineering program, in its second year, also has experienced meteoric growth, with 105 students, three new full-time faculty positions and a new School of Engineering dean, David Puleo, who is a biomedical engineer.

This program capitalizes on existing strengths to prepare engineering students to meet the expected demand in biomedical industries in Mississippi and across the nation. It also will provide additional human resources for the practice of medicine and to address public health issues.

“The rapid growth of our biomedical engineering program demonstrates the desire for this discipline in Mississippi and for the application of engineering principles to drive discovery of new knowledge in the life sciences and development of advanced biomedical technologies,” Puleo said.

“In addition to enhancing the state’s biomedical device workforce with top-notch students, the collaborative nature of the discipline will promote interaction between departments within the school, across the Oxford campus and with the Medical Center in Jackson.”

Construction crews have reworked the roundabout in front of Guyton Hall to align with Guyton Place and Magnolia Drive. The new design, which opened Aug. 10, allows for a safer roadway for pedestrians and motorists. Photo by Marlee Crawford/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Building for the Future

To enable academic excellence and enhance the campus environment, the university is managing $709 million in building projects planned or underway across its campuses, including renovations and construction of new facilities. Just days before the fall semester commenced, the Oxford campus opened a new pedestrian plaza and street improvements in front of Guyton Hall, home to the School of Education, to improve access and safety.

Several major projects are scheduled to be completed in the new academic year, including the expansion and renovation of the Ole Miss Student Union. The $59 million project increases the Student Union’s size from 97,000 to 173,000 square feet, adding space for student government offices, a ballroom and an expanded food court, which opened last fall.

When renovations are complete in early 2019, Paul B. Johnson Commons East will house Developmental Studies and the Center for Student Success and First Year Experience. University and Public Events will be housed on the second floor, alongside three renovated event spaces.

Other projects on tap for completion in 2019 include the 121,000-square-foot South Campus Recreation and Transportation Hub, which also will house the William Magee Center for Wellness Education. In addition, renovation work is underway on Garland, Hedleston and Mayes, which will accommodate the School of Applied Sciences.

For more information on enrollment and programs at UM, go to http://www.olemiss.edu.

Story and information from University Communications.

Meek School is proud of its two Miss America contestants

Posted on: September 8th, 2018 by ldrucker

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media faculty and students were rooting specifically for two Miss America contestants when the pageant aired Sunday, Sept. 9, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

While Miss Mississippi Asya Branch and Miss Tennessee Christine Williamson, both who have Meek School ties, were not selected among the final 15 contestants, Meek School leaders were proud that they represented the Meek School and the University of Mississippi in the competition.

Branch, a University of Mississippi junior, is a current Meek School student. According to her pageant bio on the Miss America website, Branch said the competition empowered her to embrace her past while helping children of an incarcerated parent find their way.

“Having the backbone and financial base of our family stripped away through incarceration and arrest left me hurt, confused, scared, bullied, and withdrawn,” she said. “Through the Miss America Organization, I have been able to face my fears and insecurities brought on by my father’s imprisonment. Now, I am boldly working to help other children who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances fulfill their greatest potential and realize they have an uninhibited future.”

Williamson, 22, attended UM and the Meek School as a broadcast journalism major. While at Ole Miss, she was a news anchor for NewsWatch.

According to Williamson’s pageant bio, she is an advocate for Alzheimer’s because she has lost four family members to the disease, including her grandfather, who she helped her mother take care of for 11 years.

“I watched the lengthy demise of someone I loved, and vowed to be a catalyst for change,” she said. “As a National Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Association, I have lobbied U.S. and state congressional leaders for three years on Alzheimer’s initiatives. I have raised $25,000 for Alzheimer’s Association to help the 5.7 million Americans and their caregivers fighting America’s most expensive disease.”

Meek School leaders also helped lead a Miss America watch party sponsored by the Student Activities Association inside the Student Union ballroom. Debbie Hall, a Meek School instructional assistant professor, said the watch party was organized to give UM students a way to celebrate the Meek School’s two Miss America contestants. Refreshments and games were offered.

Hall said the Meek School’s Event Planning class conducted a fundraiser for the two contestants’ platforms prior to the pageant as a way of recognizing and honoring them.

Students, faculty and alumni were encouraged to use the hashtag:  #MeekMissAmerica Sunday night.

“I think this is just a further indication of the quality students we have in our Meek School programs,” Hall said.

Street speaks to members of College Public Relations Association of Mississippi

Posted on: May 24th, 2018 by ldrucker

Senior Lecturer in Public Relations Robin Street spoke to members of the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi May 21 at Holmes Community College – Ridgeland. PR staff members from all four-year and community colleges in the state can join.

Street spoke about the It Starts with (Me)ek anti-stereotyping campaign she and 30 students put on at the Meek School. Street’s former students and other Meek School alumni were well represented. Alumni Mary Margaret Turner Busby and Barin von Foregger organized the conference.

From left are UM alumni with Street in the college where they work as communication specialists. Front row: Steve Diffey (Holmes), Donna Thomas (ICC), Street and Julie Bauer (NWCC).

Second row: Natalie Davis (Co-Lin), Mary Margaret Busby (Holmes), Pam Starling (Ole Miss), Barin von Foregger (Holmes). Third row:  Nell Luter Floyd (Millsaps), Cathy Hayden (Hinds) and Sarah Sapp (Ole Miss).

UM graduate talks public relations with Meek School students

Posted on: April 27th, 2018 by ldrucker

Students in Robin Street’s Public Relations Techniques class met with Reade Tidwell, who works in corporate communications with Chick-fil-A, this week. Tidwell spoke and answered questions, especially about her role as the head of internal communications for the national company. Tidwell, a University of Mississippi Business School graduate, is originally from Clarksdale.

 

 

UM students sweep awards from Public Relations Association of Mississippi

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi public relations students and recent graduates swept the awards in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition, with one student winning overall Best in Show.

Only 14 total students from around the state won awards, and UM students from the Meek School of Journalism and new Media won 12 of those.

In addition, a 30-member student committee led by Senior Lecturer Robin Street won an award of excellence in the professional category for the anti-stereotyping campaign called It Starts with (Me)ek they created for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

University of Mississippi public relations students and recent graduates swept the Public Relations Association of Mississippi Prism individual student competition recently, and some won, along with Senior Lecturer Robin Street, as a team in the professional category for the It Starts with (Me)ek campaign they created for the Meek School. Pictured from left, are some of those winners: (front row, kneeling) Kat Balmes, Addie Guida and Kendrick Pittman. Second row: Bianca Abney, Alexa Hart, Street, Parker Maloney, Alex Hicks and Kaitlin Childress. Back row: Zack McEwen, Clifton Carroll, Kayla Beatty and Kelly Zeidner. Photo credit: Stan O’Dell

The awards were presented at the PRAM state conference in Starkville on April 13.

“Entries submitted by students from the University of Mississippi highlighted their extraordinary skills, and I have no doubt that each of these students will be successful as a public relations professional,” said Christen Duhé, PRAM’s vice president of awards. “Their level of professionalism is very impressive.”

The students entered public relations campaigns they produced in Street’s advanced class during 2017. Each campaign required multi-faceted skills, including writing news articles, shooting video and photos, planning creative attention-getting events, conducting research and creating online and social media posts.

“I already knew how outstanding these students are, but I was delighted that the judges recognized that also,” Street said. “Our students demonstrated that they excel in the diverse set of skills needed in today’s public relations profession. That is a tribute to the preparation they received from all the faculty members at the Meek School.”

Awards were given at three levels, based on the number of points judges award each entry. The top award is the Prism, followed by the Excellence and Merit awards. Multiple students can win in the same category if they earn the required number of points. The entry with the highest number of points is named Best in Show.

Addie Guida, a public policy major and journalism minor from Gulfport, won Student Best in Show and the Prism in her category. The judges, who remain anonymous, praised her work highly.

“This campaign is planned extraordinarily well,” one judge wrote on Guida’s entry. “I was incredibly impressed by the level of detail provided. It’s clear a lot of time and effort went into this work, and it’s a shining example of a well-developed integrated communications plan.”

Dixie McPherson, an integrated marketing communications May 2017 graduate from Tupelo, also won a Prism award. The judge’s comment on her entry read, “Perfect! This is how it’s done.”

Excellence winners were Amanda Hunt, an IMC December 2017 graduate from Ocean Springs; Mike Haskins, an IMC major from Senatobia; Clifton Carroll, an IMC major from Yazoo City; and Alexa Hart, an IMC December 2017 graduate from Searcy, Arkansas.

Merit winners were Grace Bacon, an IMC May 2017 graduate from Fairhope, Alabama; Kat Balmes, a marketing and corporate relations major from Brandon; Kelly Zeidner, an IMC major from Fort Mill, South Carolina; Parker Maloney, a marketing and corporate relations major from Clinton; Alexa Arguedas, an IMC May 2017 graduate from Madison; and Kaitlin Childress, an IMC major from Brandon.

Childress was also a member of the 30-student team winning a professional Excellence award for the It Starts with (Me)ek campaign. Also representing the team were Bianca Abney, an IMC graduate student from Moss Point; Kayla Beatty, a journalism major from Ocean Springs; Alex Hicks, an IMC graduate student from Meridian; Zach McEwen, an IMC major from McComb; and Kendrick Pittman, an IMC major from Kosciusko.

For more information on the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, visit their website at https://jnm.olemiss.edu or email MeekSchool@olemiss.edu.

Meek School students and alumni well represented at Public Relations Association of Mississippi conference

Posted on: April 16th, 2018 by ldrucker

Meek School students and alumni were well represented at the recent Public Relations Association of Mississippi conference, most of whom are Senior Lecturer Robin Street’s former students.

Front row, from left, Paul Katool, Bianca Abney, Kendrick Pittman, Robin Street, Mary Margaret Turner Busby and UM alum Rob Pettit.

Back row, from left, Emily Blackwell Pickering, Jace Ponder, Alex Hicks, Selena Standifer, Ryan Whittington and Brian Von Foregger.

Meek School of Journalism and New Media welcomes alumni to tailgating events

Posted on: November 12th, 2017 by ldrucker

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media knows how to tailgate. Here is a gallery of photos from a recent Grove get-together before the Louisiana State University game. Meek School instructor Timothy Ivy took the photos.

The Meek School held three events this year during football game days to greet and welcome Meek School alumni. Plans are in the works to do it again next year. We hope to see you there.

Meek School to host fourth annual Data Day Thursday, Nov. 2

Posted on: October 21st, 2017 by ldrucker

Data Day is back.

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi will be hosting its fourth annual Data Day in Farley Hall’s Overby Auditorium Nov. 2.

Data Day is designed to expose UM students to data-driven storytelling and decision-making. The event gives students access to tools and methods that lead to data-driven journalism, content analysis, and digital marketing.

Dr. Jason Cain, event organizer, said Data Day helps students succeed in their careers.

“Understanding data and being able to communicate insights drawn from data has become an essential skill touching all areas of mass communication,” Cain said, “regardless of whether you’re in journalism, IMC, PR, or any other area related to the field.”

Not only does Data Day allow students to gain insight and understanding from top industry professionals, students network and learn from professionals.

“The Meek School hosts Data Day … to demonstrate that working with data is not just a purely analytical pursuit, but very often a creative one as well,” Cain said.

This year, students will hear from Erica Huerta, intelligence manager at Amazon & Whole Foods. Huerta has more than eight years of private sector experience in analytics where she developed strategies for companies such as Expedia and Home Depot.

Data Day will also feature Max Freund, managing editor of digital for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He also teaches at the University of Iowa. Previously, Freund served as a product manager and web developer for Fusionfarm, a creative marketing agency.

“Data is everywhere,” Freund said. “And journalists need to learn how to wrangle, understand and, ultimately, visualize that data for the reading public. But that road is fraught with many dangers.

“Whether it is a misleading visualization, a complicated presentation, or simply the wrong analysis of the data, journalists must learn what ways work to visualize data, and what ways don’t.”

Freund will speak at 8 a.m., followed by Huerta at 11 a.m. Both events are open to the public.

Meek School professor teaches career readiness seminar

Posted on: October 15th, 2017 by ldrucker

Meek School professor Mark Burson recently taught a career readiness seminar at the Career Center.  It is an adaptation of the career class he teaches at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

School of Journalism and New Media is back in action

Posted on: August 21st, 2017 by ldrucker

We’re back in action at the School of Journalism and New Media, and we have a great event coming up that all students who are interested in journalism, public relations and marketing might enjoy attending.

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media will host a Meek & Greet event welcoming students to campus Thursday, Aug. 24, from 2-4 p.m. We will have music, snow cones, a Snapchat Meek & Greet geofilter, photo props, representatives from student organizations and local employers.

It is a great opportunity to interact with other Meek students and faculty. If you are interested in majoring or minoring in journalism or integrated marketing communications, this is a great time to gather information and ask faculty members how you can get involved in the journalism and IMC programs.