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An Inktober Q & A with Emily Bowen-Moore, instructional assistant professor of media design

Posted on: October 25th, 2022 by ldrucker

A Q & A graphic featuring professor Emily Bowen-Moore's artwork.

It’s Inktober for Emily Bowen-Moore, instructional assistant professor of media design. We asked her a few questions about her journey as an artist, designer and illustrator.

Bowen-Moore joined the faculty in the spring of 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and journalism at Ole Miss in 1997, and after several years of teaching, she earned a master’s degree in illustration.

She has been a freelance illustrator and designer for the last 20 years, and her work has appeared in various printed media, including music CDs, children’s books, and large printed murals.

In 2004 and 2006, she was awarded Earthwatch Institute S. A. Rosenbaum Fellowship through the Phil Hardin Foundation. In recent years, she has been illustrating, designing, and publishing her own children’s books.

 

Q: Tell me a little about your drawing journey. When did you start? Why did you become interested in drawing? What has your career path been like as an artist and professor?

A. My drawing journey started at a very young age. I have been doodling since I can remember holding a pencil in my hand. I knew that drawing and design were a long-term goal, as I knew that I had not only a passion for it but also talent in it as well.

In undergraduate college, I became a little discouraged because there wasn’t as much support for designers being in a small town. There always seemed to be a disconnect with making art a career path. However, later in my college career, I started to do some commissioned work, painting murals and designing other things like album covers, and I developed momentum for living a life as an artist.

After I decided to live in Oxford permanently, an art position opened up at the Oxford Middle School. I had a good friend at the time, who was also teaching, and she was a huge inspiration to me. I decided to take the job, and I have been designing and teaching art and design ever since.

Q. Why did you decide to begin doing your series of Inktober drawings? Can you describe some of them for us and the thought process behind them.

A. After teaching for several years, I decided to get my MFA in illustration. This led me to my instructor position at the university. I began using my graphic design expertise more, and I found that I was doing less traditional/free-hand illustration and design as a general practice.

When I discovered Inktober on Instagram, I thought it would be a great way to stay in practice with drawing and illustrating. Even though I use digital media (my iPencil and iPad with Procreate, a drawing app), this enables me to practice my drawing and illustrating skills, but in a more efficient manner.

With the individual drawings themselves, I take the word prompts for each day and brainstorm a concept for a drawing/illustration. I gather whatever visual resources I need to reference for my drawing concept, and then I draw. Ideas do not always come easily, but that is expected when drawing every day.

After my first year participating in Inktober, I received several requests for prints. After that, I decided to design illustrations that could also be reproduced easily, and I started my own print shop on INPNT.com. This made it easy for people to access my illustrations and choose what media and size they want with any particular illustration. My store also offers framing options. This site has been an efficient way to provide these choices while cutting out the extra leg work in printing all of them myself at a higher expense.

School of Journalism and New Media professors offer advice for college students

Posted on: August 19th, 2022 by ldrucker

The graphic features a cork board with pins and reads Advice for Students

A new semester has begun at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, and some of our professors are offering the following advice to students:

Graham Bodie

Graham Bodie

Listen to Other Perspectives. Graham Bodie, Ph.D., professor of integrated marketing communication, said go to class and ask questions that provide deeper understanding, especially around issues that are complex and infused with multiple diverse perspectives.

“Learn to hold two or more seemingly contradictory perspectives as plausible before accepting or rejecting anything out-of-hand,” he said. “Try to read something or talk to someone who disagrees with you every day.”

Speak Up. Bodie said speak with passion and confidence toward a position you feel strongly about and about which you have some knowledge and/or experience, and always listen like you might be wrong.

You Might Be Wrong. “Don’t be surprised when you are wrong, and don’t treat others’ wrongness as a weapon to wield in a battle over who gets to win an argument that may not actually have a single right answer,” he said.

When you have the privilege of being in a position of power, Bodie said “leverage the diversity of views and perspectives on those large, messy, complex problems with which you have been tasked, and take risks on solutions that involve collective intelligence.”

Fail. And remember, we sometimes learn by failing.

“Fail here, while you can do so in a ‘safe’ environment,” he said. “Don’t read ‘safe’ as an environment that makes you feel comfortable. You should sometimes be uncomfortable.”

Emily Bowen-Moore

Emily Bowen-Moore

Communication is Key. Emily Bowen-Moore, instructional associate professor of integrated marketing communication, said to communicate with instructors.

“It makes all the difference in the world,” she said.

Elizabeth Allen Estes

Elizabeth Allen Estes

Read the Directions. Elizabeth Allison Estes, adjunct instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications, shared this message:

“Dear Gen Z Student, You are so wonderful in so many ways. But having grown up entirely immersed in digital technology, you tend to assume that you can accomplish tasks intuitively. You will save us both a lot of extra work and sadness if you will read the directions FIRST, and then just follow them. With great affection, Professor Gen X.”

Senior Lecturer Robin Street discusses a class project with two students in her PR Case Studies class. From left, are IMC major Jessica Lanter, Street and IMC major Naiomei Young. Photo by Maddie Bridges.

Robin Street

Record Due Dates in a Calendar. Robin Street, adjunct instructor of integrated marketing communications, said her advice is basic, but effective.

“At the beginning of the semester, get all your syllabi together,” she said. “Then get a calendar, either a hard copy or a digital one. Carefully go through each syllabus and highlight every due date. Then, one by one, put all those dates on your master calendar.

“Yes, it will be tedious, but it will help you so much. If due dates change, be sure and go back and change your calendar.”

Write Reminders. Street said it’s helpful to make note of items a week or two before the due date.

“Write on your calendar on Oct. 15 that a paper is due in two weeks. That way, dates don’t sneak up on you.”

Work Each Day. Street’s second piece of advice is to devote a little time daily towards a big project.

“The longer you put that project off, the bigger it gets,” she said. “I do this myself when I have a lot of papers to grade. I devote one hour to grading. I don’t get them all graded, of course, but it makes headway. Then, the next day, I devote another hour.”

Kristen Alley Swain

Kristen Alley Swain

Build Your Skills. Kristen Alley Swain, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, said search for ads for your dream job(s). Then make a list of the skills and background these employers want that you could obtain while enrolled at UM.

“College is the easiest time to do this – because right now, you have the resources and support to do it,” she said. “For instance, you might produce content for a nonprofit or campus office, attend events related to your interests to help you network, and volunteer for leadership roles in a student club.

“Use every course to help build your professional ‘toolbox’ — add skills, perspectives, experiences, knowledge, content, publications, and other deliverables that will help you succeed in a tough job market. Demonstrating tenacity, a strong work ethic, effective time management habits, and a willingness to actively participate in every class will greatly help you get good references and launch a fantastic career.”

Stefanie Goodwiller

Stefanie Goodwiller

Talk to Your Professors. Stefanie Goodwiller, adjunct instructor of media design, said don’t be afraid to ask questions.

“If you are unsure of something, ask your professor before asking your peers,” she said.

Debbie Woodrick Hall

Debbie Woodrick Hall

Set Goals. Debbie Woodrick Hall, instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communication, shared a few Ole Miss Student Survival Tips written by Bonnie Brown. 

“So maybe you haven’t answered the question of ‘what do you want to be when you grow up,’” Brown said. “The Career Center can help with that. But you can set some goals for the semester—a certain GPA, some type of behavior modification, establish an exercise routine, actively participate in class. Whatever it is, make it yours, and set yourself up for success! You got this!”

Robert Magee

Robert Magee

Use Memory Recall. Robert Magee, Ph.D., associate professor of integrated marketing communication, said a good way to prepare for a test is to use a blank sheet of paper.

“Write down everything you can remember,” he said. “Then, compare it to your notes to see what you missed. Recall memory is much more difficult than recognition memory, so this will give you an idea of how well you are prepared.”

Define a Concept. “When you’re trying to master a concept, see if you can define it in your own words in no more than two sentences,” Magee said. “If you can’t define it in two sentences or less, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s a sign of muddled or half-baked thinking. To write well, you first must think well.”

Lynette Johnson

Lynette Johnson

Look for Opportunities. Lynnette Johnson, Ed.D, said, “Be open to unexpected opportunities that arise. Walk through that door of opportunity…you never know where it may lead. If you don’t ask, then the answer is already ‘No.’”

Ellen Meacham

Ellen Meacham

Get Involved. Ellen Meacham, adjunct assistant professor of journalism instruction, said attend every panel discussion, guest speaker or free event you can.

“It’s a great chance to learn about the world from people who are out there in it,” she said. “You will never have such a distinguished, informed, cross-section of experts so easily accessible again. You will learn a lot, and it’s also a great way to make contacts and network for future internships and jobs.”

Mike Tonos

Mike Tonos

Come to Class. Mike Tonos, journalism coordinator and instructional associate professor, said show up and get to know your instructor, even if that means a one-time, short, one-on-one meeting. This applies across the board, not just to in-person classes.

“For all, do the work you’re assigned,” he said. “In my classes, you’ll get at least some credit for turning in your assignments. The alternative is an automatic zero.”

Debora Wenger

Debora Wenger

Remember — it all matters. Debora Wenger, Ph.D., associate dean, said there’s no such thing as “syllabus day.”

“Seriously, make every class period count and stay on top of assignments,” she said. “It’s always going to be easier to do well in a course if you avoid falling behind.

“Pro tip: Take advantage of every extra credit opp — you never know when you’ll need those three more points.”

School of Journalism and New Media Assistant Dean Simmons promoted to Provost’s Office

Posted on: August 12th, 2022 by ldrucker

OXFORD, Miss. – Two University of Mississippi community members have been promoted to executive positions in the Office of the Provost.

Virginia Rougon Chavis and Jennifer Simmons, former assistant dean of the School of Journalism and New Media, have been named associate provost and assistant provost, respectively. They will assist Noel Wilkin, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, in supervising personnel and supporting office operations.

“Both Professor Chavis and Ms. Simmons have been long-time, valued members of our university community, and are well-respected by their colleagues,”  Wilkin said.

Virginia Rougon Chavis

“While they have fulfilled different roles and responsibilities on our campus – Professor Chavis rising in the faculty ranks and Ms. Simmons rising in the staff ranks – both will bring their unique experiences and expertise to the office. I am excited about the valuable contributions they both will make to the Office of the Provost and the University of Mississippi.”

Chavis served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History for almost seven years. She also served on the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Council and the Honors Selection Committee, and was selected as an SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellow.

“I enjoy working with people and talking to them,” Chavis said. “I enjoy solving problems, coming up with the best solution and seeing things through the eyes of others.”

Her short-term goals are to make improvements to some of the things she learned over the past year as acting associate provost, including providing structured opportunities for administrators to have conversations about addressing challenges and celebrating accomplishments in their units.

Chavis also plans to continue monthly chair and director workshops and include interactive exercises on the agenda along with the regular announcements.

“I am working to create a yearlong curriculum for new chairs,” she said. “This curriculum will equip those new administrators with the resources and contacts they need to be provide successful leadership within their own units.

“Lastly, I have been working with the Counseling Center on campus to address their needs to help individuals on campus. The need for mental health care is important to the health of all individuals on campus.”

Jennifer A. Simmons

Chavis’s long-term goals include addressing the lack of space on campus, creating a pathway for personnel to advance professionally and expanding the Early Learning Program to fruition.

“It is important to note that last year, the first Provost Faculty Research Scholar for Institutional Transformation was selected,” she said. “This new position supports the expansion of university efforts to build a collaborative research team dedicated to the efforts of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Simmons earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her master’s in higher education from the University of Southern Mississippi. A member of the Ole Miss faculty since 2002, she has served on numerous academic and administrative committees.

Simmons said she believes her perspective is somewhat unique since she has worked in both student affairs and academic affairs.

“My former position in the School of Journalism and New Media was a student affairs-type role in an academic unit,” she said. “I understand what it takes to get students to attend UM and what it takes to get them to graduate from UM.

“I want to be a listening ear to be someone who can become a valuable resource to students and faculty by answering questions and providing guidance on concerns they may have.”

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

Posted on: August 1st, 2022 by ldrucker

Many of our University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduates are embarking on new adventures in jobs or internships. Here are some of our most recent updates about grads who are taking on the #RealWorldRightNow.

This is a photo of Thomas Lee standing in front of green trees.

Gulfport native Thomas Lee, a University of Mississippi graduate, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in International Conflict and Cooperation and Arabic with a minor in Spanish. He is now an IMC graduate student.

He said he decided to shift to IMC for graduate studies because he has always had a passion for language, culture, and graphic design. He has been working as an intern at BBDO (short for Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn, a merger between two companies), one of the largest advertising agency networks in the world with more than 15,000 people in 289 agencies across 81 countries.

Lee said his best advice to other journalism and IMC students is to “always have an open mind and apply, apply, apply.”

“I went on a massive LinkedIn internship hunt and got hundreds of rejection emails, but it’s important to not get discouraged,” he said. “ . . .  I truly believe that I would not have been in this position if I did not put myself out there – you never know what can happen if you do.”

Crick holds her diploma while wearing her cap and gown at graduation.

Greenwood native Micah Crick, 22, started working remotely as an account management intern at BBDO Atlanta before moving there to continue working for the company.

“I found the job by deciding I wanted to work for one of BBDO’s offices,” said Crick, who was originally assigned to an account management team working on competitive research and providing support before she was promoted to business affairs coordinator. Now, she assists business managers in the Business Affairs Department.

The recent UM graduate, who studied integrated marketing communications with a specialization in visual design and a minor in general business, felt like she wasn’t involved in campus activities until her senior year of college. Then, she decided to say “yes” to everything she could. That led to new opportunities, including work with BBDO.

Crick became the visuals editor for The Daily Mississippian her senior year, sold advertising for HottyToddy.com, was involved with the National Student Advertising Competition with Instructional Associate Professor Chris Sparks’ campaign class, and she interned for Parents of College Students/662 Marketing.

The graphic features people climbing a ladder and reads: Our grads tell us What's Next?

Liz Corbus graduated from Ole Miss in 2017. The IMC graduate now works at TikTok.

After graduation, Corbus was employed as a digital account coordinator at Warner Media. That led to her current job as a client solutions manager at TikTok for their Beauty and Personal Care Department. She works directly with mid-market beauty advertisers to grow their brand identity through marketing efforts using the TikTok platform.

Liz Corbus

“Month over month, I’m responsible for making sure that clients meet their key performance indicators (KPI),” said Corbus, “but ultimately, we want them to grow their business using TikTok. My day-to-day includes a lot of creative best practices.

“A lot of people are still trying to figure out how advertising works on TikTok because they think it’s apples-to-apples like Instagram or Facebook. But, creativity is the number one driver of success on TikTok. So, if you don’t have the resources or the creative strategy to run ads on TikTok, it’s gonna be a little bit harder.”

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne graduated in 2020 with a journalism degree and started his career as a reporter for The Desoto Times-Tribune. He said his experience as editor-in-chief for The Daily Mississippian taught him a lot about what was to come in his professional career.

“The Mississippian was maybe the most important part of my education at UM,” said Payne. “Every aspect of that work showed me what a newsroom was all about and gave me a taste of what a career in journalism would actually be like. It confirmed my love for journalism.

“There’s no replacing planning, writing, and editing stories that will have real impact, even if it is just in the university or Oxford. I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenges that came with all that, but I am so thankful for everyone who encouraged me to go for it. There really isn’t a workday that I don’t use what I learned at The Mississippian.”

Payne landed his first job at The Desoto Times-Tribune, then a full-time fellowship with POLITICO. He is now a full-time reporter at POLITICO after completing his fellowship there.

Natalie Pruitt

Natalie Pruitt graduated with an IMC degree in 2021. After going through the arduous process of job hunting, Pruitt finally landed her current job with FleishmanHillard (FH) as an assistant account executive, but she said her job is more like that of an assistant designer.

“I still can’t believe that I get to do design every single day,” she said, “Working as a designer makes every day so much fun and different from the last. It’s also rewarding being able to use and to strengthen the skills I learned as an IMC major.”

Pruitt also offered advice for incoming freshmen and graduating seniors. She said there are many things she could have done differently in college. However, her best advice is to work hard.

”Never let the fear of judgment stop you from unleashing your inner ‘try-hard.’” said Pruitt. “Being a ‘try-hard’ is what gets you noticed and opens doors that leave you asking, ‘How did I end up here?’”

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman is pictured in this black and white photo.

Billy Schuerman graduated in 2021 and completed his first year in the visual communication master’s program at Ohio University. He has worked as a photographer and writer at a newspaper in Colorado and had a photo internship at the Virginian-Pilot.

He was also one of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students who recently placed in the Top 20 in the prestigious national Hearst journalism competition in the team digital news/enterprise category. Rabria Moore and Schuerman were winners for the project that tied for 16th place in the Hearst contest with a project from Elon University. The project was about water supply problems in the community of Taylor, Mississippi.

“Before we are journalists, we are humans, and this is a human story,” he said. “This was not a project we could just walk into. We dedicated our time to telling a meaningful story about something that really matters.

“I hope other students can take away that in order to tell the rough draft of history, we must truly dedicate ourselves to the people we serve.” His advice to other journalists is to find time to do important stories. “Not everything you work on will come through,” he said, “but when you have an opportunity to really do something important, it’s important to take it head on.”

This article was compiled from recent student stories.

If you are a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate, feel free to email us with your career update.

WTVA multimedia reporter is among those graduating from UM School of Journalism and New Media with master’s degree

Posted on: May 7th, 2022 by ldrucker
Taylor Tucker graduated from UM in May of 2020. That year, she was hired as a multimedia journalist at WTVA in Tupelo. Now, the 2022 master's grad also works as the station's morning and weekend anchor.

Taylor Tucker graduated from UM in May of 2020. That year, she was hired as a multimedia journalist at WTVA in Tupelo. Now, the 2022 master’s grad also works as the station’s weekend morning anchor.

Taylor Tucker graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media in May of 2020. That year, she was hired as a multimedia journalist at WTVA in Tupelo and received a promotion her first year. Now earning her graduate degree, the 2022 grad also works as the weekend morning anchor on WTVA from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m.

“News has earned my heart,” Tucker said, “and I plan to continue my journey as a news anchor and reporter. It’s comforting to know I now have my master’s and plan to utilize it later in my career.”

Tucker is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared her Journey to Commencement.

Interim Dean Debora Wenger said one of the things that stands out about Tucker is her kindness.

“As a journalist, I know she will tell stories with compassion and care,” she said.

Wenger said Tucker is also one of the students who loves learning.

“She took advantage of opportunities to build her skills in the classroom and in the newsroom,” she said. “While still in graduate school, she started working as a reporter for WTVA in Tupelo, and the combination of professional experience and a master’s degree is going to take her far.”

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has forged relationships with news directors across the state and around the region.

“When the folks at WTVA met Taylor, the saw huge potential and offered her a position,” Wenger said.

Tucker’s advice to fellow students: Take advantage of every opportunity. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to better perfect your craft.”

Read a previous story we wrote about Taylor below.

Taylor Tucker sits at the WTVA news desk.

Taylor Tucker sits at the WTVA news desk.

DaLakin Crawford
Oxford Stories
dkcrawfo@go.olemiss.edu

When interning as a freshman, Taylor Tucker said she felt as if she was not in the right career field because she didn’t know much about news stations and reporting in general and she was intimidated by the people who were already on the job.

“They were so much more advanced,” she said.

Taylor Tucker reporting for WTVA.

Taylor Tucker reporting for WTVA.

This made her feel behind and not in the right field. As a freshman, she became discouraged until she realized she was just getting started and still had more work to do.

When Tucker became a junior at UM, she received another internship. She knew what to expect and felt more confident because she realized she would learn as she goes.

While Tucker encountered some difficulties as an undergraduate on the road to becoming a journalist, she has also faced challenges as a young professional. One such challenge involved a February snowstorm.

It was Tucker’s first time reporting in those weather conditions. She had to drive on the roads and was afraid of what might happen. However, she managed to overcome that fear and get the job done.

“You never know what you are getting yourself into,” she said.

Each day, her job is different.  Tucker said she has to be mentally prepared because some days are challenging, but she wouldn’t want to do anything else.

DeAndria Turner, friend and former classmate of Tucker, graduated from the University of Mississippi in May 2020 and now works as a news reporter at Fox61 in Hartford, Connecticut. She described Tucker as a hardworking person who never gives up and is always willing to learn more about her career so she can improve as a journalist. Turner said those qualities are what she admires most about Tucker.

“She is always looking for ways to improve her craft,” said Turner. “She is always looking for ways to become more creative and engage the audience.”

Turner said Tucker feels she can never be too good or know enough. Therefore, she watches other journalists and learns from them.

“She isn’t afraid to ask questions, and she holds herself and others accountable,” Turner said.

Tucker may be graduating with a second degree, but she’s not ready to stop learning, yet.

“I think we all need continual growth and lessons to keep becoming better journalists,” Turner said. “Especially so we don’t get complacent in our craft.”

You can read the full story at OxfordStories.net.

NewsWatch leader will pursue sports journalism and legal career

Posted on: May 3rd, 2022 by ldrucker
A. J. Norwood dreams of becoming a national sports reporter and an attorney. The graphic features hands stacking blocks with icons on them. The top block features a graduation cap.

He has dreams of rising in the ranks as a national sports reporter and becoming an attorney.

The sky is the limit for A.J. Norwood, a Batesville native whose desire and ability to achieve excellence left a memorable impression on University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media leaders. He is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared his Journey to Commencement.

“I came into college knowing that I wanted to be a broadcast journalist,” said Norwood. “More specifically, I knew I wanted to be a sports broadcaster.”

The broadcast journalism major with a minor in legal studies has worked for NewsWatch – UM’s live, student-run news broadcast, since his freshmen year.

“Auditioning for NewsWatch Ole Miss and getting hired there was pretty much how I got my start doing that,” he said. “It opened up a lot of opportunities for me due to the work that I put in, and I was blessed to be able to make things happen as a result of it.”

Norwood started out as a sports anchor with NewsWatch, then worked his way up to sports director, overseeing sports reporters and anchors.

He also served as a school ambassador, leadership and engagement ambassador, a Luckyday team leader and media specialist, and president of the University of Mississippi Association of Black Journalists during his college career.

“Sports journalism was my first goal,” he said. “Being in college now and getting real-world experience, I know I can do news and sports.”

Student A.J. Norwood sits behind the anchor desk at NewsWatch. Norwood said he was drawn to UM because of its journalism program, and his older sister, Taylor, graduated from UM in 2020. 

He became interested in law during his sophomore year while taking JOUR 371 Communications Law, and decided to pursue legal studies as a minor. He said he’ll most likely pursue journalism first after graduating.

Assistant Dean Patricia Thompson, who leads the Student Media Center, said she has worked extensively with Norwood in her role as student media director and faculty adviser for the UMABJ.

“I recognized A.J.’s strengths as a young sports journalist and his leadership potential and helped recruit him for NewsWatch and UMABJ,” she said. “He’s here with NewsWatch five afternoons a week.

“Like many of our top high-achieving, hard-working students, he runs the risk of being tapped by different departments for too many campus activities. He rarely says no to any opportunity, and he still manages to excel in his work at the (Student Media Center), with UMABJ and in his internships.

“He was one of the students we sent to cover the Sugar Bowl for the SMC. I have no doubt he is going to have an awesome career. Any TV station in the nation would be lucky to land him.”  

LaReeca Rucker, adjunct instructional assistant professor of journalism, said Norwood showed great promise early on in a beginning journalism course.

“Some people stand out because they demand attention, and some stand out because they demonstrate a quiet excellence,” she said. “A.J. always knocked every assignment out of the ballpark. His work spoke for itself, and he took home the top honor in my class.”

Assistant Dean Jennifer Simmons said Norwood has the drive and determination for the goals he sets for himself.

“A.J. has the talent, skills, and personality to be a phenomenal broadcast journalist,” she said.

Interim Dean Debora Wenger said Norwood is a gifted communicator.

“I know he is going to be a success,” she said. “He has many talents, but he remains humble and willing to learn from everyone he encounters. No matter where he goes, he will be an asset to the organization as he was to our school — a good student, a good journalist, a good person.”

Norwood believes hands-on experience has given him the tools he needs for success.

“I think I am pretty prepared for whatever I need to do after college,” he said.

He also enjoys photography and has worked as a media specialist for Luckyday Residential College.

“I kind of do photography for both work and fun,” he said. “I figured out that it was something that I can be really good at if I just put in the time to do it.”

Norwood encourages students to pursue their interests in college.

“If there is something you are passionate about, believe in yourself and take that step,” he said. “Do it. You want to always be able to look back and say, ‘I had no regrets while I was here,’ but obviously make good decisions.”

When he’s not reporting, shooting photos, or attending classes, he enjoys spending time with friends. Some of his best memories are late-night runs to Insomnia Cookies on the Oxford Square.

Norwood, one of four children, graduated from South Panola High School, where he played football and soccer while participating in organizations and honor societies.

“Following graduation, I plan to either attend law school or pursue a career as a professional journalist,” he said. “I have a few job offers, but it’s a matter of figuring out the best decision to make for myself right now.”

His advice to students: “Do something (you’re) happy doing in college, in terms of a major. Regardless of how difficult the course load is … if you have a dream job, pursue it. Nothing is going to come easy, but the payoff will be greater in the end.

“I would also tell younger students to make the most of their time in undergrad. I understand that we are all here to get a degree, but these are supposed to be some of the best years of your life. Don’t take it for granted.”

Jena Stallings contributed to this story.

First generation DeSoto campus grad will join advertising firm after graduation

Posted on: April 28th, 2022 by ldrucker
The graphic features a graduation cap and a picture of Benjamin Wilson, an IMC student, who will be the first in his family to graduate from college.

When Benjamin Wilson, 24, graduated with a degree in integrated marketing communications (IMC) from the University of Mississippi DeSoto campus in Southaven, he became the first person in his family to earn a college degree.

The Pontotoc native who lives in Southaven with his wife is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared his Journey to Commencement.

“I am the first person in my family to ever go to college,” he said. “People did not expect me to go to college and definitely did not expect me to be successful.”

Wilson said he took a year off after graduating high school to work and save money for college. He earned an associate’s degree from Itawamba Community College, then skipped another year of school to get married, work, and save more money before returning to earn his bachelor’s degree.

“When coming to Ole Miss, I was undecided in my major,” he said. “I was interested in business and marketing. I had never heard of IMC until my advisor at Ole Miss told me about it. I instantly knew it was the major for me. It opens up career opportunities in business, marketing, communications and more.”

Benjamin Wilson While much of Wilson’s time in college happened virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has served as a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. He has also earned a spot on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll each semester.

Wilson said his favorite class has been IMC 205: Writing for Integrated Marketing Communication, taught by his favorite instructor, Patricia Overstreet-Miller.

“It was one of the first IMC classes I took,” he said, “and it assured me I was in the right major,” he said.

Wilson said his biggest personal and educational challenge during college was prioritizing.

“I have worked full time all throughout my college career,” he said. “Juggling my job, school, and being a husband has been very challenging. I have had to sacrifice some of my social life and ‘fun time’ in order to prioritize schoolwork. While it is not fun at the moment, I know it will all be worth it when I graduate in May.”

Wilson will work as a junior SEO specialist at Neon Canvas – an advertising firm in Memphis.

“I did a summer internship with the company last summer, and they offered me a full-time position after my internship,” he said.

Overstreet-Miller, an instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications, said Wilson is a born leader, who is talented, hard-working and committed.

“Like others among the regional students, he balances personal responsibilities and a full-time job with a heavy class load,” she said. “From the beginning, I’ve seen both talent and character in Ben. He will make us all proud.”

Wilson’s advice: “I think the number one piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to put yourself out there – even if you are more reserved or introverted,” he said. “College is a difficult task, and it is really hard to go at it alone. I would encourage everyone to surround themselves with a good support system – family, friends, and especially other students in your major and classes.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

How to use social media to leverage your brand and organization

Posted on: April 12th, 2022 by ldrucker

A panel of industry experts discussed the role of social media and big data analytics during the inaugural IMC Connect! event Friday, April 1 at The Inn at Ole Miss.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Rebecca Britt, a professor at the University of Alabama, and featured:

Social media icons

Social media icons

Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer at Carnival Cruise Line

Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing & Communication at FedEx Services

Amy Rosenberg, Digital Media Director at KQ Communications

Dr. Ike Brunner, Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

The panelists shared that social media can help solidify a brand and tell a brand’s story. Everyone can see when a brand/company fails on social media. However, social media can also be used to better internal communications.

As a career professional, always ask what can be done to shift, pivot, and change to get clients to reach their goals before the end of a social media campaign. The need to conduct research on the front end about who you are talking to and see how data can tell their stories is also crucial. An organization’s tone and voice on social media also needs to remain genuine on every platform.

The panel on social media and big data analytics was just one part of the inaugural IMC Connect! Other panels included topics such as crisis communication, social justice, and advertising/building a brand.

By Jordyn Rodriguez and Margaret Savoie.

Follow @umjourimc on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

Keep Calm and Sail On: How industry experts are tackling crisis communications

Posted on: April 11th, 2022 by ldrucker

A panel of industry experts discussed the four phases of crisis communication during the inaugural IMC Connect! event Friday, April 1 at The Inn at Ole Miss.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Timothy Coombs, a professor in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, and featured:

  • Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer at Carnival Cruise Line
  • Renee Malone, President and Founding Partner at KQ Communications
  • Reade Tidwell, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Chick-fil-A
  • Steve Holmes, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at The Home Depot
  • Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing and Communication at FedEx Service

Dr. Coombs said the four phases include stealing thunder, empathy, accountability, and moral outrage. He described “stealing thunder” as creating a loss.

A panel discusses crisis communication at IMC Connect!

A panel discusses crisis communication at IMC Connect!

Empathy occurs when stakeholders are a priority, not just psychological support, but also addressing physical safety. Accountability does not mean you are responsible for what happened, but you are responsible for what happens to solve the problem. And moral outrage occurs when people perceive injustice and see it happen to other people.

Panelists explained that a crisis is a long term issue that you will manage over a period of time. The organization principles should guide your decision-making, and it is essential to make consistent decisions throughout, as well as build trust within your organization to be successful, or you will be slow and miss the boat.

Some of the key takeaways from the panel included the importance of:

  1.  Timeliness – Fast and good beats slow and perfect every time.
  2.  There should be an alignment with the executive team over guiding principles.
  3.  Prepare for the different categories of crises. However, empathy and sympathy are always first.
  4.  Make an effective response that will help the organization in a crisis.
  5.  The goal is to avoid crisis, present calmness, and don’t give an indication that there is a crisis.
  6.  Everyday is a dress rehearsal for crisis.
  7.  It is not always about you; it’s about the company, the people you are protecting, and the associates.
  8.  A company crisis is not about what you say; it’s about what you do. Don’t let your customer service fall apart.
  9.  Actions speak louder than words. There should be a multi-discipline approach to all actions.
  10. Learn from the best practices across the spectrum and not just in your industry.
  11. Read other companies’ crises, and see how they are handling the situation, and think about how you would handle the crisis.
  12. You can’t ignore the internal side of crisis communication.
  13. In a crisis, clarity is absolutely crucial.

The panel on crisis communication was just one part of the inaugural IMC Connect! Other panels included topics such as social justice, social media, and advertising/building a brand.

By Jordyn Rodriguez and Margaret Savoie.

Follow @umjourimc on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

Communicators listen and learn from industry experts at IMC Connect!

Posted on: April 7th, 2022 by ldrucker

Students get advice from professionals and researchers during inaugural conference

Several industry leaders and academic researchers networked with University of Mississippi students, faculty and staff and sparked conversation on a number of topics at IMC Connect! 2022, an inaugural conference hosted by the School of Journalism and New Media

Organized by students in an event-planning course in the integrated marketing communications master’s program, the March 31-April 1 conference included workshops designed to improve the school’s IMC curriculum, sessions for attendees to network with invited professionals and discussion panels with representatives from leading household brands.

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall.

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall.

“This is a great networking event for students interested in IMC,” said Abigail Nichols, second-year graduate student and event planner of IMC Connect! 2022. “It is always nice to hear from leaders about topics related to IMC and collaborate with my classmates to host this event.”

Discussion topics included social media and data analytics, crisis communication, the role of advocacy and social justice in public relations and brand strategies.

The purpose of this experience was to, not only provide a space for members of the Ole Miss community to network with IMC practitioners, but also to offer attendees insight on topics of student interest, said Dr. Amanda Bradshaw, co-chair of IMC Connect! and an assistant professor of IMC.

“The event sought to bridge the disconnect between research and practice, and we had some of the foremost academic researchers in the world on campus,” Bradshaw said.

To read the full story written by Michael Taplin, click the link.