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Journalism and IMC alumni share how they are Serving Our State

Posted on: July 18th, 2021 by ldrucker
A graphic featuring a woman working at her computer with the state of Mississippi. It reads Serving Our State.

Serving Our State

Many University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduates embark on careers all over the country and abroad after graduation. But some choose to stay in Mississippi and use their talents in many ways while “Serving Our State.” Read stories from our alumni who share the significant impact our school has had on keeping the state informed.

“Mississippi is a place of opportunity, and I hope outgoing students will realize how needed their minds and talents are in Mississippi, and that she can offer so many opportunities and chances for growth that will be invaluable in your life.”

Kelsey Addison

director of marketing for
raanes & Oliver capital advisors in hattiesburg

Kelsey Addison

Kelsey Addison: Mississippi is a place of opportunity

Hattiesburg native Kelsey Addison, 25, graduated in December of 2018 with a degree in integrated marketing communications. She recently purchased a house in Hattiesburg, where she is the director of marketing for Raanes & Oliver Capital Advisors.

“After graduating from Ole Miss, I still had about six months left on my lease in Oxford, but there weren’t any job openings at the time for what I wanted to do,” she said.

During the summer of 2018, Addison interned for Congressman Steven Palazzo in Hattiesburg, and his office invited her back to work with them. Addison worked with the communications director drafting newsletters and press releases, creating content for social media accounts, regularly updating media lists and staying in contact with local community members.

“My first month working for the congressman was plagued by the government shutdown,” she said. “It was a tough time, but I learned so much about communicating with the public, handling a crisis, and working as a team trying to produce real results that would benefit the community.”

She was first hired as the office manager for what was then called, Raanes Capital Advisors, an independent branch of Raymond James. Her duties were to schedule appointments for financial advisors, answer phone calls, and handle client servicing needs.

“As time went on, I developed a passion for the financial sector and how my firm interacted with their clients and each other,” she said. “After several months of handling the firm’s social media on the side, I was promoted to director of marketing and now oversee all marketing initiatives. In my spare time, I work with a small social media marketing firm, Comfort Strategies, to manage several social media accounts of small businesses around the Pine Belt.”

As the director of marketing, Addison is responsible for all social media management, public relations, and client communications from the branch.

“The business manages over $150 million in assets, so clients must be able to trust us with the money we manage for them,” she said. “It is important in my role to convey that trust by sending out quarterly newsletters and staying in routine communication with clients, managing our blog, and being knowledgeable about what is going on in the economy, politics, and global news.”

Kelsey Addison

Kelsey Addison

For the past six months, Addison has helped rebrand the business now known as Raanes & Oliver Capital Advisors.

“During the rebranding process, I designed a new website, prepared updated stationary, created social media ads, and coordinated with multiple businesses to ensure that we stayed on schedule and that everything was cohesive with what we envisioned for our business with this rebrand.”
Addison said the project involved creating trust with clients.

“I’m proud of the job we did, and it would not have been possible without the tools I received from my time at Ole Miss,” she said.

Why did she decide to stay in Mississippi?

“Mississippi is a place of growth,” she said. “So many brilliant minds are choosing to stay and see Mississippi for what she could be, and that’s how I felt.

“I grew up in Hattiesburg and loved my community as a child. However, through my time with the congressman’s office and my job now, I have grown to love Hattiesburg and Mississippi as a place where I want to grow and challenge myself and others to leave it better than we found it.

“Mississippi is a place of opportunity, and I hope outgoing students will realize how needed their minds and talents are in Mississippi, and that she can offer so many opportunities and chances for growth that will be invaluable in your life.”

Addison’s company manages investment accounts for clients – about 86% of whom live in Mississippi.

“By working with these clients and being involved in our community, we are working to help them reach the goals they set financially,” she said, “whether that is to send their kids to college, have a comfortable retirement, give back to their communities, or to make a highly anticipated large purchase. We also work within schools in our area to teach middle- and high-schoolers about financial literacy and how the stock market works.”

Blake Alsup

“I wake up every day and get to write about the people that make Northeast Mississippi what it is. It’s not a responsibility that I take lightly, but if you were to ask my coworkers, they would tell you that I like to have fun at work… If I can make readers even half as excited as I am about the people I write about, then I’m satisfied because there are some truly extraordinary individuals in our region.”

Blake Alsup

education reporter,
northeast mississippi daily journal

Blake Alsup: Extraordinary people are in Mississippi

Ripley native Blake Alsup, 25, studied journalism with an emphasis in print and a minor in Southern Studies. He graduated in December of 2018 and now works as the education reporter for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo — a paper he grew up reading.

But he didn’t start there. Less than a month after his graduation, Alsup accepted a job with the New York Daily News in New York City.

“Although the job included some breaking news coverage, it was primarily aggregating sensational content — stories that would get clicks, whether it was a horrific crime or a cute pet — from local newspapers and TV stations around the country for a national audience.

“I wanted to do ‘real’ journalism, the type of reporting I had done at The Daily Mississippian, so I left that job in September 2019 and returned to Mississippi after securing a job with the Daily Journal.”

Alsup began working at the Journal in October of 2019. He covered local schools, primarily the Tupelo and Lee County school districts, writing occasional articles about the local community colleges and universities.

“But in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and we didn’t have a health care reporter, I updated our website with the latest coronavirus case and death counts by county in our region,” he said.

He eventually began covering the Mississippi State Department of Health and Gov. Tate Reeves’ press conferences. From the start of the pandemic to the peak in January 2021, Alsup has covered efforts to vaccinate Mississippians and the latest pandemic news.

“If there’s a story that needs to be covered, and it doesn’t fit any specific beat, or the person who would typically cover it is busy, I’m the first person my editors come to because they know I’m willing to pitch in and cover any story no matter how much I have going on,” he said.

Blake Alsup in New York City Blake Alsup in New York City

During his time at the Journal, Alsup has interviewed hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, a Mississippi State University graduate who now drives the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a hospital chaplain who worked with COVID-19 patients and their families through the pandemic and a local meteorologist who has seen Northeast Mississippi residents through snowstorms and EF-5 tornadoes.

“And that barely scratches the surface when it comes to interesting people I’ve interviewed,” he said. “I wake up every day and get to write about the people that make Northeast Mississippi what it is.

Alsup utilizes the skills he learned as a student reporter in the School of Journalism and New Media, where he first learned what “real journalism” was.

“It’s not a responsibility that I take lightly, but if you were to ask my coworkers, they would tell you that I like to have fun at work. Interviews like the ones I mentioned are what really get me excited, and if I can make readers even half as excited as I am about the people I write about, then I’m satisfied because there are some truly extraordinary individuals in our region.”

Alsup said he realized the importance of local journalism while working as a news reporter and news editor for The Daily Mississippian and while participating in a couple of school-sponsored reporting trips to Batesville and Grenada with professors Bill Rose, John Baker and Ji Hoon Heo. He said he still wanted to work for a major regional or national publication at that time, but “a seed was planted that grew into a desire to work for a local newspaper.”

“And I went on to New York just long enough to realize that Mississippi is where I’m supposed to be,” he said. “I don’t say any of that to brag, but to let current students know that despite setbacks, you can succeed.

And you can tell stories that matter, whether you go to work for The New York Times or make your living at a community newspaper in Mississippi.”

 
 

“By publishing the paper weekly, we give our citizens a voice, and will continue to do it as long as I can. Without my education at UM, none of this would have been possible.

Emma F. Crisler

owner, editor, publisher ,
the port gibson reveille newspaper

Emma F. Crisler

Emma F. Crisler: We give our citizens a voice

Tutwiler native Emma F. Crisler, 82, graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1961 with a degree in journalism and English. Today, she is the owner/editor and publisher of The Port Gibson Reveille newspaper.

She first taught in McComb and Vicksburg before working at the Claiborne County Welfare Department as a social worker.

“When (my) husband died in 1997, I assumed the responsibility of owner, editor, and publisher of The Port Gibson Reveille for three generations, beginning in 1898 as the third family to own this paper,” she said.

Crisler said she loves Mississippi and wanted to remain in the state.

“In 1969, I literally ‘married’ The Port Gibson Reveille and was the midnight proofreader along with my other jobs,” she said. “After my husband’s, Edgar Crisler, Jr., death in 1997, I had a choice of either taking over the paper or hiring someone to do it.  

“I chose to be the ‘boss,’ and I still am, publishing the paper weekly on Thursdays,” she said. “By publishing the paper weekly, we give our citizens a voice, and will continue to do it as long as I can.

“Without my education at UM, none of this would have been possible. Without my training at Ole Miss Journalism School, I would not have the knowledge to run a newspaper today.”

Miranda Beard

“The lessons I learned and the practical hands on training built my confidence to use a voice I was ashamed of and bullied because of it,” she said. “The lessons I learned empowered me to use a booming and powerful voice to impact over a million people through public speaking, social media, podcasts, and by training other leaders through my consulting business on the local, state and national levels.

Miranda Beard

Former WDAM/Raycom Media journalist,
now owner of B&B Consulting

Miranda Beard: The lessons I learned empowered me

Miranda Beard, born in 1957, studied broadcast journalism and public relations at UM and graduated in 1986. The Humboldt, Tennessee native has lived in Laurel, Mississippi for 35 years.

She worked at WDAM/Raycom Media for 30 years as a reporter, executive producer, anchor and assistant news content director. She later became president of the National School Boards Association in the Washington, D.C. area from 2016-2017 — just one of the many executive roles she has held. She is currently the Director of Christian Education at Word of Faith Christian Center in Hattiesburg.

Beard continues to use the media and leadership skills she learned at UM and in the industry as the current president and owner of B&B Consultants Incorporated.

“My responsibilities include leadership training for school boards and superintendents, public speaking and advocating for equity and excellence in public education on the local, state and national levels,” she said.

Beard said she decided to stay in Mississippi to serve its people with the gifts, talents and abilities God gave her.

“I realized my abilities are not for me, but they are to be used to inspire, motivate, encourage and help other people be who they were born to be,” she  said.

“The School of Journalism program at the University of Mississippi provided me with the hands-on knowledge to not only achieve my goals, but it also prepared me for dealing with the real world beyond book knowledge,” she said. “It helped to improve my communication skills and trained me on how to collaborate and cooperate with others to see a project to its completion.”

Beard said the School of Journalism also helped her become a more effective communicator.

“The lessons I learned and the practical hands-on training built my confidence to use a voice I was ashamed of and bullied because of it,” she said. “The lessons I learned empowered me to use a booming and powerful voice to impact over a million people through public speaking, social media, podcasts, and by training other leaders through my consulting business on the local, state and national levels.

“I was so grateful and blessed to have professors who used their professional knowledge to help me discover my purpose as a communicator, leader and business owner. What I received from the School of Journalism was a first-rate education that sharpened skills I didn’t know I had, and for that I am thankful. Now, I inspire others to find what they were born to do.”

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

Posted on: July 14th, 2021 by ldrucker

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

Avery Sadler, 22, an integrated marketing communications (IMC) major with a minor in general business and psychology and a specialization in media sales, said she will be moving back home and working as an account executive for Goosehead Insurance in Westlake, Texas. “I hope to eventually work for a company in the travel industry, such as an airline or hotel, in a position such as an account planner or marketing researcher,” said Sadler, a Southlake, Texas native. “COVID has obviously pushed back this goal by practically shutting down the travel industry.”

Brady Craig, 23, an IMC major with a minor in general business and a specialization in sports promotions and communications, will be starting grad school in the fall at the University of Alabama. “I will be getting my masters in advertising and public relations,” said Craig, who is from Southaven, Mississippi. “I also will be joining Alabama Athletics to work with their marketing team, specifically with all things digital. My goal is to end up working with a professional team or at a college in their marketing department, or in a digital department. I have worked in sports the past three years, and I am so excited to see what the future holds.”

Kendall Twiddy, 21, an IMC major with a minor in business administration and a social media specialization, will be moving to Dallas to work as a marketing coordinator with Kimley Horn. “I will work on developing marketing proposals for the company’s public sector work,” said the Tega Cay, South Carolina native. “My goal is to eventually become the VP of marketing for a company and oversee all creative, logistical, and analytical aspects of the company’s marketing campaigns.”

Gray Thomas, 21, is an IMC major with a minor in business administration, who will be returning to Ole Miss in the fall to start law school. “I’m intrigued by international and comparative law,” said Thomas, from Collierville, Tennessee, “but we shall see what happens or changes in the next three years.”

Anna Catherine Ward, 21, said she plans to move to New York this summer (job still pending) and will be attending The New York School of Interior Design in the fall to pursue an associate’s degree in interior design. The IMC major with a minor in general business and art, who is from Baton Rouge, said she can’t wait to see what’s ahead.”

Mia Callicutt, 21, an IMC major with a minor in business from Roswell, Georgia, has accepted a remote job in Atlanta as the sales and marketing analyst at a cyber security and cyber compliance company called Defensestorm.

Olivia Schwab, 21, an IMC major and general business minor, from Pearl River, Louisiana, will be attending the University of Mississippi School of Law to pursue a joint JD/MBA in hopes of working as corporate counsel for a large company in the tourism sector one day (i.e. Southwest Airlines of Walt Disney World).

Eumetria Jones in front of Farley Hall

Eumetria Jones in front of Farley Hall

Eumetria Jones, 21, an IMC major and general business minor from Byhalia, Mississippi, has moved to Austin, Texas to work for YETI Coolers as their new social media coordinator. “My job is to complete social media  projects and contribute ideas for their social media strategy through tracking and analyzing their social media metrics and commentary,” she said. “YETI is a powerhouse of marketing and brand strategy, as they relay messages to their consumers in moving storytelling posts, shorts, stories and videos,” she said. “They’ve been named Most Innovative Companies of 2020 with amazing brand tactics and high quality gear. I can’t wait to get started.”

Savannah Hulme, an IMC major and general business minor with a social media specialization, works as the assistant property manager for Cambridge Station in Oxford. “I would love to work at the University of Mississippi one day in any department doing marketing/sales or event planning,” said the Dallas native.

 

What's Next logo for series

What’s Next logo for series

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

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

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

Julia Peoples

Julia Peoples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Weaver

Nick Weaver

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

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

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

Tyler White

Tyler White

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

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

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

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

In Memory of Mykki: School of Journalism faculty and staff celebrate the life of coworker Mykki Newton

Posted on: July 6th, 2021 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media faculty and staff are mourning the loss of a longtime journalist and employee whose kindness will be remembered.

Oxford resident Mykki Newton passed away July 3, 2021.

The Huntsville, Alabama native had recently retired from the school, where she worked as a producer, director, writer, videographer, editor and camera equipment manager. She assisted students, staff and faculty with their creative work.

Professor Joe Atkins said Newton was a special person who brought a world of experience to her craft.

“She could be so funny with her tales of monster movies and her cats,” he said. “I always looked forward to her posts on Facebook. I told her one day I really wanted us to get together sometime so she could tell me about her days in New York studying and working with stage and screen legends. We never got to have that conversation, and I regret that. She’s going to be missed by a ton of people.”

According to Newton’s IMDB bio, she studied at both The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and The Actor’s Studio in New York City. With more than 30-years of professional experience as a broadcast journalist, actor and filmmaker, she was an award-winning journalist, producer and director. Prior to her journey at Ole Miss, she was a news anchor and reporter at several TV stations, including WATN in Memphis and WAFF in her hometown.

Professor Brad Conaway described Newton as caring, funny, smart and interesting.

“She was a bright spot on my Facebook feed… a steadfast, supportive friend since the day we met at Ole Miss,” he said. “… We shared a past in the broadcast industry and a love of classic movies and obscure pop culture.”

Professor Ellen Meacham has known Newton since they worked together in the UM public relations department in 1993.

“Little known fact — I talked her into taking her first cat, Gracie, when I found a kitten I couldn’t keep,” she said. “She always was full of wit, intelligence and compassion. And so, so good at the craft of storytelling.”

Meacham said Newton was one of the most courageous people she has ever known and “an incandescent soul.”

 

Celebrating the Life of Mykki Newton: "Mykki left me with three powerful memories that taught me three life lessons: Live your truth. You never know the burdens another person may be carrying. One act of kindness can change someone’s life."

Robin Street, who recently retired from her position as senior lecturer with the School of Journalism and New Media and is now an adjunct professor in the school, said Newton was her friend of 30 years and a bright spot in her life.

“Mykki left me with three powerful memories that taught me three life lessons: 1. Live your truth. 2. You never know the burdens another person may be carrying. 3. One act of kindness can change someone’s life,” Street said.

Street first met Newton when she was Mike Newton, working as the Ole Miss broadcast PR specialist in the early ‘90s. They became friends and worked together on a few projects. Street said she was impressed that Newton had once worked on a soap opera.

“Then several years later, I began to notice that Mike was losing a lot of weight and growing his hair long,” she said. “I’ll never forget the day I bluntly asked, ‘What is going on with you?’

“That’s when I learned that Mike had long been miserable, as he struggled with hiding his true self from the world. He told me that he was finally setting free the feminine Mykki.

“I had really liked Mike, but I adored Mykki. It was as if this delightful, joyful and creative person had been trapped inside. Mykki was able to express all the joy in her new life that Mike had not been able to.”

Street said she is grateful that several years later, Newton came to work for the School of Journalism and New Media. For many years, their offices in Farley Hall were across the hall from one other. They shared a love of the color purple, and Street loved Newton’s fashion sense.

Another poignant memory of Street’s was when Newton helped her and a group of students create a video celebrating diversity that used Lady Gaga’s song ‘Born This Way,’ with Street dressed as Gaga.

“Mykki devoted hours of her own time on a Friday night to film the video, then more hours over a week or so editing the video so that it looked professional,” she said. “That video and Mykki as videographer went on to win an award from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.”

Other faculty shared remembrances and memories as well. Nancy Dupont, professor of journalism who officially retires from the school in a month, said, “Mykki was a kind, amazing woman.”

Alysia Steele, associate professor of journalism, describes Newton as one of the most thoughtful and giving people she has ever met. She was “always willing to help others and share a story along the way,” Steele said. “Mykki had a quick wit and wicked sense of humor … Mykki’s love and tenderness for her cats said plenty about her humanity and philosophy of life – she had a kind and gentle soul.”

Steele said she’d often stop in to ask what Newton was creatively working on.

“Honestly, Mykki never said a bad thing about anyone, and always tried to find a positive outlook in life,” she said. “I wish more people were like her – our world would be a better place.

“She will be sorely missed, and it breaks my heart that she’d just retired, for she was looking forward to this new chapter in life. I know many of us were happy for her because she deserved time to do whatever she wanted in retirement.”

Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center, professor and Hederman Lecturer, said Mykki was authentic.

“Once in your lifetime, you meet a genuine, honest person who is determined to shed away any and all hypocrisies and be themselves,” Husni said. “That is how I will always remember Mykki, from the day I met her, to the day I offered her a job at our school, to the day she retired.”

Mark Dolan, associate professor of journalism, describes Newton as “one of the most human, human beings” he’s ever known.

“Warm-hearted, unselfish, professional, honoring living things everywhere – she adopted my parents’ cat, Maggie, after my dad died in 2010,” Dolan said. “Yes, I’ll miss someone who honored life so, who was positive.

“Once, I gave her tickets to see Kris Kristofferson in Biloxi after my plans fell through. Turned out she couldn’t go either, but told me a just a few weeks ago how she’d framed those tickets and hung them on the wall. You gave us a piece of your heart, Mykki.”

LaReeca Rucker, adjunct instructional assistant professor of journalism, said she will miss Newton’s spark of life and creativity.

“When I came to the school several years ago and met Mykki, I understood that school leaders valued inclusivity and the Golden Rule,” Rucker said. “Mykki’s presence taught those she encountered the concept of treating others the way you would have them treat you because she lived that ideal through her kindness.

“We shared a love of animals, nature and films, and I will miss her comments about those things in my newsfeed that is now less colorful. When others can truly be themselves, they make those around them feel like they also have the liberty to be accepted for all of their attributes, flaws and humanity. Mykki changed the world around her by teaching us, through her actions, that each person is worthy of kindness and respect.”

Deb Wenger, interim dean and professor of journalism, said that Mykki’s impact will live on.

“In her kind, giving way, Mykki demonstrated to a generation of students that we are all just people. We all deserve to be treated with respect and we all have much more in common than we have differences. She was more important to our school than she probably, ever knew and she will be greatly missed.”

Plans for a memorial service are in progress and the school will share the information widely when details are firm. Street summed up the lessons Mykki Newton learned and taught to many.

“I’ll end with a line from ‘Born This Way,’ that seems hauntingly appropriate now: ‘Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself, and you’re set.’ I am so glad that Mykki was able to accomplish that goal.”

UM School of Journalism and New Media professor’s book wins Bronze Medal from Independent Publisher Book Awards

Posted on: June 8th, 2021 by ldrucker

Hollywood's Zen Rebel

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor Joe Atkins recently received news that his book Harry Dean Stanton: Hollywood’s Zen Rebel (University Press of Kentucky, 2020) is a Bronze Medal winner for biography from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. This is a national contest for books published by independent and university book publishers.

Atkins spent four years on his writing journey for the book, including several trips to Los Angeles to meet some of Stanton’s actor and director friends and colleagues. 

Joe Atkins

“It was a nice surprise to hear from my publisher about my book on Harry Dean Stanton getting this IPPY Bronze Medal,” he said. “I had no idea they had even entered the book into that competition.”

Atkins said he’s long been familiar with the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

“These awards are given to books published by independent and university publishers, and thus allow those books to get some of the recognition that more often goes to books from the big NYC publishing houses,” he said. “It’s always gratifying to get positive feedback about a project that you devoted years to completing. I’m pretty proud of the book, so I was and am very happy about this news.”

This isn’t the first time Atkins has won something related to the book. He was selected to co-host TCM’s showing of the 1959 rock ‘n’ roll film “Go, Johnny, Go!” in March on TCM-TV, the national network based in Atlanta, with regular host Alicia Malone.

Atkins entered a contest by listing the 10 movies he would like to co-host. Several were movies in which actor Harry Dean Stanton appeared, but the film TCM chose was “Go, Johnny, Go!” starring Alan Freed and Chuck Berry.

Atkins said he was happy he was selected to co-host the show with Malone, who brought up another TCM connection.

“Back in 2016, I published an article about character actor Nehemiah Persoff in TCM host Eddie Muller’s magazine Noir City,” he said. “During my research for that article, I interviewed noted film writer Patrick McGilligan, who happened to head the ‘Screen Classics’ series for the University Press of Kentucky. After the interview, he asked me to consider writing a book on film and later suggested a Harry Dean Stanton biography for the publisher.”

Atkins answers questions about his 203-page book “Harry Dean Stanton: Hollywood’s Zen Rebel.” We asked him how he became interested in Stanton and what he learned from his research.

Q. Can you take me through your writing journey?

A. My writing and research long focused on labor and politics, both in the U.S. South and beyond, but I’ve turned to an old love of film in more recent years, trying to incorporate that with my earlier research.

I’ve always loved character actors, the working stiffs of the big and small screen. I always used every opportunity to do interviews with and stories about them, even as a political reporter in Washington D.C., where I covered the premiere of the film “Mississippi Burning” and interviewed actor Gene Hackman back in the 1980s.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty in “Gunsmoke”), Clint Walker, Hugh O’Brian, many others. In 2016, I did a magazine piece on veteran character actor Nehemiah Persoff for Noir City magazine, and in the process, interviewed well-known film writer and film biographer Patrick McGilligan. McGilligan, I found out, headed the film series for the University Press of Kentucky, and he asked me at the end of my interview (he’d earlier read and liked a column I once wrote about his biography of film director Nicholas Ray) if I’d be interested in doing a book on film. I said, “Sure.”

He told me to come up with a couple ideas. My idea was to do a collection of essays on character actors, among them Persoff and Harry Dean Stanton. McGilligan said forget the collection, how about a biography of Harry Dean Stanton? I had done many profiles as a journalist, but never contemplated doing a biography.

I wasn’t sure, but McGilligan just kept after me, emailing and calling me over the next several months. As a writer, I had never before been subject to such a flattering pursuit! So I said yes, and I’ve never regretted it.  I was able to enter a fascinating world that I otherwise would have never known.

Q. For those who haven’t read the book, how would you describe it? 

A. This is a book about a unique and compelling actor who rarely made it to the top of the marquee, but who became a legend for his performances in the supporting cast. Once called “the philosopher poet of character acting,” Harry Dean Stanton became a legend in Hollywood and among movie-goers for what director David Lynch called his “organic” acting abilities as well as for being a kind of hip, Buddhist-like persona.

He helped fuel the “New Hollywood Era” of the 1960s and 1970s in such films as Cool Hand Luke and The Godfather Part II before taking lead roles in “Paris, Texas” and “Repo Man” in the 1980s. He kept performing nearly up until his death at 91 in 2017, starring in his last film “Lucky” the year before he died.

Joe Atkins's book wins award

This is also the story of a Southern expatriate who left the hard-shell Baptist world of his rural Kentucky youth to become a kind of wandering philosopher and musician as well as actor in Laurel Canyon and Hollywood, rooming with Jack Nicholson, partying with rock ‘n rollers Michelle Phillips and David Crosby, hanging out with Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson, and playing poker with director John Huston.

Yet he never could shed his Southern roots, and his music is a testament. He also spent years in a rough-and-tumble relationship with his free-spirited mother, whose artistic skills he inherited, but whose freedom-loving temperament was stronger than her maternal instincts.

Q. Why were you interested in writing a book on on Stanton? 

A. Long ago as a student in Munich, Germany, taking my first courses in journalism, I decided I wanted to have roots as a journalist, and that someday, my native South would be a great beat or focus, even though I had done everything I could to escape it. After working at newspapers in North Carolina and Mississippi, I carved out that beat as a congressional correspondent for Gannett News Service in Washington, D.C.

Over the years, I’ve kept my focus on the South and the Global South, and Harry Dean Stanton’s troubled relationship with his own Southern roots fascinated me about his story. Add to that my lifelong love of movies and film history, and the Harry Dean Stanton story was a perfect combination for me.

"This is a book about a unique and compelling actor who rarely made it to the top of the marquee, but who became a legend for his performances in the supporting cast. Once called 'the philosopher poet of character acting,' Harry Dean Stanton became a legend in Hollywood and among movie-goers for what director David Lynch called his 'organic' acting abilities as well as for being a kind of hip, Buddhist-like persona."
Joe Atkins
author and JOURNALISM Professor

Q. Can you tell me a little about the book? When will it be available? Any upcoming book signings?  

A. Harry Dean Stanton: Hollywood’s Zen Rebel is being published by the University Press of Kentucky, and it will actually be published in November (I think Nov. 1), but is already available for pre-order via Amazon, Goodreads or other sites. The cost is $34.95 for hardcover or $19.22 for a Kindle edition. The pandemic has messed marketing and book signings up greatly, but the publisher’s marketing department now is in the process of working out some things.

I just got interviewed by reporter Joel Sams for Kentucky Monthly Magazine, and Los Angeles writer Robert Crane (son of the Hogan’s Heroes star) is organizing a “conversation/launch party.” I’ve been invited to speak at the Kentucky Book Festival, the Harry Dean Stanton Film Festival, and for an appearance and/or lecture at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, but with the ongoing pandemic, I’m not sure of dates or whether we’ll have to go with Zoom sessions or postponements.

My publisher told me we’ll have a second launch next summer with the hope that we can all once again interact with one another in a somewhat normal way. Hope to see the book in Square Books and other area bookstores soon.

Q. What do you hope people take away from the book about Stanton’s life? 

Well, like any writer, you want your readers to have found that this was a darned good story and that it opened up a world for them that they had not experienced before, but which perhaps also resonated in some way with their own world. A writer can’t ask for much more than that. 

University of Mississippi journalism student’s News21 team wins Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award

Posted on: June 4th, 2021 by ldrucker

For the third straight year, students in the Carnegie-Knight News21 program have won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award recognizing the best collegiate reporting in the country on social justice issues. A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate was part of the project.

Matthew Hendley, who graduated last month, was part of the 2021 winning project, “Kids Imprisoned.  Hendley was one of 35 student journalists from 16 universities across the country who spent eight months reporting on the state of the country’s juvenile justice system.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this team of talented journalists,” Hendley said. “Unfortunately, neither our work nor this award will fix the problems within the juvenile justice system, but I hope we’re able to bring these issues to light with our efforts and take one step closer toward truth and justice for all youth.”

Matthew Hendley at 60 Minutes.

Matthew Hendley at 60 Minutes.

“Working virtually from their home states during the pandemic, the students investigated private companies that run programs in detention facilities, conditions in detention facilities, policing practices, employee misconduct, and the impact of the juvenile justice system on families, communities and victims,” the news release reads. “They worked under the direction of News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.”

You can read more about Hendley’s thoughts on the News21 program here.

For more information about our journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) programs, visit this link.

UM mourns the loss of alumnus Oscar Pope, NBA on TNT marketing manager

Posted on: June 4th, 2021 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media mourns the loss of alumnus Oscar Pope, whose latest role was as the marketing manager for the Turner Sports show NBA on TNT, and NBA TV.

Pope, a native of Terry, Mississippi, began his four-year journey at the University of Mississippi as an art major with an emphasis in graphic design. He also double-majored in broadcast journalism. He became a production manager for Rebel Radio, a news anchor for NewsWatch in the student media center, and the visual editor of The Daily Mississippian.

According to an alumni profile, Pope accepted a position as an advertising coordinator at a sports publishing firm in Atlanta after graduation. He later joined the Atlanta-based startup Scoutmob as an advertising executive for four years before landing at Creative Loafing Atlanta as a multimedia marketing specialist.

His career path eventually led to Turner Broadcasting as content marketing coordinator of the NBA on TNT and NBA TV at Turner Sports. He handled consumer-facing creative messaging and branding for both networks in addition to NBA.com.

MacKenzie Ross, who served as the editor and creative director for the latest edition of the UM School of Journalism and New Media’s student-produced edition of The Review magazine, worked with students who interviewed Pope about his career for the publication. The following is a Q & A with Pope that student Wade Griffin compiled.

 

 

Oscar Pope

Oscar Pope

Q & A With Oscar Pope

By Wade Griffin

 

Q. How has your education from Ole Miss helped you get to where you are today?

A. I double-majored in graphic design and broadcast journalism, so my days at Ole Miss look a lot like they do now and are just as multidisciplinary. What used to be running from a three-hour design studio class to shoot a news package for my JOUR 480: Advanced Broadcast Reporting class is now running from creative briefings to production & program meetings. The education and wide range of experience I received at Ole Miss prepared to me to wear many hats, without hesitation, simultaneously and effectively.

Q. Can you give me a brief description of your job duties?

A. I manage all consumer-facing creative, messaging and branding for NBA on TNT, NBA TV and Turner Sports podcasts. My team is responsible for driving viewership of live games, original programming and key NBA tentpoles, including NBA Tip-Off, NBA All-Star and the NBA Playoffs across both networks. My team is also responsible for building and executing go-to-market content and creative strategies.

Q. What is a favorite memory from your time in your current job?

A. There are so many favorites, and many include our “Inside the NBA” crew, but the memories that mean the most are the ones where we’ve been able to tell purposeful stories at the intersections of sport, community and culture. My favorite would have to be writing ‘Dear Chicago’ for NBA-All Star 2020.

The NBA was making its first All-Star return to Chicago since 1988, so I found it imperative that we redefine how the world viewed Chicago. ‘Dear Chicago’ was written and produced in partnership with Bleacher Report as a three-part vignette series – highlighting the convergence of basketball and community and telling the stories of the people, the places and culture that define Chicago.

Through this series, we were able to give basketball fans an opportunity to experience what makes Chicago a beacon of culture and not defined by negative headlines, but rather a rich quilt of neighborhoods, each with its own identity and native heroes – athletes that have transcended sport and artists that create with a homegrown purpose. The entire series is available at dearchicagotnt.com

Q. Is there a professor who made an impact on them as a student? What is their name and why/how?

A. There were many professors who had a profound impact on me as a student and beyond. You’d be hard-pressed to find better design professors than Ginny Chavis and Paula Temple. Marvin Williams and Garreth Blackwell were critical in my growth at the J-school.

The two professors that made the biggest impacts on me were Nancy Dupont and Laura Antonow. Dr. Dupont taught with such a passion for broadcasting, and it was absolutely infectious. After my first course with her, I knew I had to be in or around the broadcast industry in some capacity.

I believe I took at least four courses with Professor Antonow, and I would’ve taken more if possible. She had an energy that was palpable and her courses were open forums of dialogue and engagement which greatly contributed to my academic and personal evolution.

You can read more alumni interviews in The Review.

Taking a Swing at Journalism: UM journalism student is part of NCAA championship golf team

Posted on: June 3rd, 2021 by ldrucker

Taking a Swing at Journalism

When she was around 2, Smilla Sønderby’s mother took her on a stroll as her father played golf. When he accidentally hit a golf ball into the water nearby, the baby in the stroller could not contain her laughter, chuckling so loudly at the sight, the moment became a defining memory.

“That was my first golf experience,” said Sønderby, who was given plastic clubs that year. When she was 4, her parents coincidentally built a house next to a golf course.

“I basically grew up on a golf course,” Sønderby said. “And then I became a member when I was 4 because I was at the club all the time.”

Smilla Sonderby
Smilla Sonderby - Ole Miss Women’s Golf Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics Twitter and Instagram: @OleMissPix

Sønderby, a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student, slowly developed a love for golf and began competing in tournaments. She is one of the members of the Ole Miss Women’s Golf team, which recently defeated Oklahoma State 4-1 to win the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. The team competed May 21-26 in Scottsdale, Arizona, at Grayhawk Golf Club.

After flying home to Denmark following the tournament, Sønderby went to bed early, woke up the next day, worked out at the gym, and played 18 holes, proving her dedication to the sport.

The freshmen journalism major with plans to minor in psychology has been a member of the Danish Ladies’ National Team since 2019. She joined the Danish Girls’ National Team in 2017 and has competed in two European Girls’ Team Championships and one European Nations’ Cup. Sønderby has had 17 Top 10 finishes in 32 events from 2017 to 2019, according to her Ole Miss Athletics bio.

Sønderby competed in her first golf tournament at age 10. She attended the Danish Golf Academy and at 15, she became part of the national team and the junior squad in Denmark, playing in two European team championships. After finishing primary school, through grade nine in Denmark, she attended a sports boarding school.

“I basically moved out when I was 16,” she said.

While attending high school, she became part of the ladies golf team in Denmark, and played in European team championships and many international tournaments.

She admired a fellow player, who attended college at Oregon State University, so Sønderby began thinking about moving to the United States to attend college.

“I wrote to, I think, 25 colleges in the states,” she said. “Some colleges reached out to me because they had seen me play out in Europe.

Smilla Sonderby
Smilla Sonderby - Ole Miss Women’s Golf Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics Twitter and Instagram: @OleMissPix

Head coach Kory Henkes traveled to watch Sønderby play in a Portugal tournament. Then Sønderby visited the University of Mississippi and three other schools before choosing UM.

For the next two and a half months, Sønderby said she will be in Denmark and playing in three or four international tournaments.

“I have a tournament this week,” she said. “So I’m going to Copenhagen tomorrow to play in a tournament over the weekend.”

She will continue to compete in tournaments every weekend this summer except for five days when she will take a break and visit a friend in Poland. She practices every day. On the day of this interview, she had practiced with her coach for four hours.

Debora Wenger, interim dean of the UM School of Journalism and New Media, said it’s an honor to have a member of a national championship sports team in our midst.

“Students in our school are always doing amazing things — earning the highest of academic honors or launching great careers — but we don’t get too many winning NCAA championships,” Wenger said with a laugh. “Of course, we are proud of Smilla and her talents both on and off the course.”

Sønderby said she’s always been interested in writing to express herself and reflect on her life and experiences. She hopes to have a golf career for the next 20 years, then become a sports writer, so she is pursuing that goal in the UM School of Journalism and New Media.

“I was actually really good at writing in Danish, and my teacher told me when I graduated, that she wouldn’t be surprised if she saw me in one of the big newspapers one day as a journalist,” she said. “I was like I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a golf player. But then, you know, I just kept writing.”

Since English is her second language, Sønderby said she was initially concerned about choosing journalism as a major.

“I was a little worried, you know, my freshman year if I could express myself, in the same way writing in another language,” she said. “But I think I’m doing OK.”

Wenger said the school’s international students enrich our programs.

“Their lived experiences help open others’ eyes to the global nature of journalism and integrated marketing communications,” she said. “ One of the things we’d love to do is offer more scholarships for international students, and we hope to make that a priority in the coming years.”

To learn more about our journalism and integrated marketing communications programs, visit this link.

Enroll in summer classes now at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: May 20th, 2021 by ldrucker

If you are looking for a class to take during the summer, here is a list of journalism and integrated marketing communications (IMC) classes the School of Journalism and New Media will be offering.

For information about how to register, click this link. 

A robot and a coding language

FIRST SUMMER

IMC 308 – Social Media Content Creation

This course focuses on using social media to engage with audiences using multimedia content. Students will learn how to create graphics, animate, and edit engaging multimedia projects using post-production software. This class has a pre-requisite: Jour 310 or permission of the instructor.

IMC 524 web – Designing interactivity (web design) – If you’re interested in learning how to create your own website, professor Darren Sanefski will teach this class that offers an introduction to experience design. Students will learn HTML5 structure and the Document Object Model, basic JQuery, basic web architecture, and the theories that underlie effective experience design. Learn what it takes to have a successful web experience. Learn core design concepts and their applications in interactive design. Learn the skills necessary to bring your ideas to life, the nuts and bolts of web design, including basic understanding of HTML, CSS and jQuery. Learn how to guide users to connect with information in a useful and intuitive way. This class has a prerequisite: Art 361 or Jour 273 or IMC 521 or permission of the instructor.

Iphone apps illustration

 

IMC 306 – Internet Marketing Communication – Those who want to learn more about internet marketing can enroll in professor Claire Hick’s class that will offer a detailed survey of marketing communications online applications, e.g., the website as a basic marketing platform, search engine optimization, digital promotions, email and social media marketing. Internet Marketing Communication explores an overview of successful case studies of companies and allows students to discuss the in-depth ways, reasons and strategies to use the trends in a career.

An image of a tree with different parts of business planning

SECOND SUMMER

IMC 304  – Account Planning – In IMC 304 Account Planning, you are invited to see the world and advertising communications differently.  This course taught by professor Chris Sparks is designed to expose you to integrated thinking in the planning and delivery of communication. It will be taught within the framework of planning roles within creative and media agencies. Anyone who will work in an agency, with an agency or in a marketing role will find their career enriched by understanding the way of thinking in account planning.

This is a course based on the practice of creating insights for communication strategy. Planners are strategists that understand branding, positioning, research, analytics, insights, and measurements necessary to create and deliver relevant, impactful communication campaigns that connect to their target audience.

In this class, you will learn to gather information to inform a creative strategy for a brand. You will learn about agencies, roles and responsibilities of planners, gathering consumer insight, creating a communication strategy and collaborating with the creative team to inspire great campaigns.

This class places a high value on approaching problems from unexpected perspectives (creative thinking), putting yourself in other people’s shoes (empathy), distilling data to develop a strategy (critical thinking), and telling a compelling story (persuasive communication). 

After Effects logo

IMC 473 web – Motion Graphics (After Effects) – Get moving with this class on Motion Graphics. Professor Darren Sanefski will teach students how to plan and produce visually driven multimedia content for internet, video and/or broadcast. There will be an emphasis on the creative use of image, type, video, audio and multi-sensory driven content. Learn animation principles and techniques. Learn how to integrate work from various disciplines. Learn strong working knowledge of After Effects. Learn how to apply motion graphics into an augmented reality. There is a pre-requisite for this course: Jour 273 OR Art 361 or the permission of the instructor.

An ipad showing data analytics and papers

IMC 571 – Internet and Mobile Media – This online course taught by professor Jason Cain is designed to help students craft strategy involving digital and mobile media and to give you hands-on experience in analytics. Students will spend time learning about how the internet and mobile media developed, their impact on popular culture, how they have changed mass communication, and the role these media play in the world of integrated marketing communications.

A couple standing in front of a broken heart

FULL SUMMER

JOUR 580 – Topics in Journalism II – “The Heartbreak Henry”Theatre Oxford Production – Join this publicity-related class led by Dr. Kathleen Wickham. Want to be a part of the summer creative team producing publicity for the Theatre Oxford’s August production of “The Heartbreak Henry”? Are you a fan of “Saturday Night Live” or the “Coming to America” movies? Here is your chance to work for David Sheffield, former lead comedy writer for “Saturday Night Live” and chief scriptwriter for both “Coming to America” movies. Sheffield wrote, and will direct, “The Heartbreak Henry” during its August debut in Oxford. It is based on Sheffield’s experiences managing the hotel while a student at Ole Miss. The building now houses Rafter’s. You will be writing articles, designing and producing the program among other publicity-related tasks. Looking for writers, photographers, designers and social media gurus. You will assist Theater Oxford’s publicity/marketing team. It is listed as hybrid, so students don’t have to be in Oxford all summer.

JOUR 456 – Journalism Innovation – this is a capstone class in which students trace, track, understand, and participate in a new media landscape, especially those changes related to the web and other forms of digital media. This class has pre-requisites: Jour 377 or Jour 378.

Kappa Tau Alpha chapter announces class of 2020 and 2021 initiates

Posted on: May 5th, 2021 by ldrucker

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

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

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

Award

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

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

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

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

2021 New members

Seniors 

Danielle Angelo

Kaylee Crafton

Danya Drake

Lauren Kate Drewry

Sage McNamara

Madeline Quon

Sarah Tonos

Ansley Wood

Hayden Wiggs

Juniors 

Mary Boyte

Grace Bynum

Anne Clark Harvey

Inductees from 2020 (Inducted as juniors, now seniors) 

Kailee Ayers

Alexandra Barfield

Anna Borgen

Nigel Dent

Asia Harden

Matthew Hendley

Avary Hewlett

Gavin Norton

Julia Peoples

Olivia Schwab

Jackson Sepko

Reagan Stone

Mason Scioneaux

Tyler White

Lauren Wilson

Inductees from 2020 who have graduated 

Callahan Basil

Payten Coale

Cathryn Crawford

Andrew Gardner

Katherine Johnson

Virginia Monssor

Alexander Norris

Austin Parker

McKenzie Richmond

Hannah Rom

Meredith Sills

Nicholas Weaver

Hannah Williamson

UM School of Journalism and New Media IMC graduate to participate in Columbia Publishing Course

Posted on: April 23rd, 2021 by ldrucker

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

Harden, from Greenville, was recently named a Taylor Medalist and inducted into the Hall of Fame. She said she applied to the Columbia program because she’s always been obsessed with books and their ability to take her to another world or experience. In addition to her yearbook leadership and involvement in several campus organizations, Harden works part-time at Square Books Jr.

“Getting a degree from the School of Journalism and New Media has further solidified my admiration for storytelling,” Harden said. “The publishing industry seems like a perfect career path for me. I wanted to learn as much about it as I can, which led me to the Columbia Publishing Course. It is a great opportunity to try to get some insight and determine if it is the right fit for me moving forward.”

Asia Harden

Asia Harden

Now in its 74th year, The Columbia Publishing Course is widely regarded as the gold standard of publishing training courses. Begun at Radcliffe College in 1947, it moved in 2001 to Columbia University in New York City. Many who have attended the course have gone on to great success, including as CEOs, publishers and literary agents. Participants were recently notified that because of concerns about COVID-19, this summer’s program will be at least partially virtual.

“I am delighted to welcome Asia into our course, because of everything she has accomplished at the University of Mississippi and because she clearly has a publishing career ahead of her,” said Shaye Areheart, director of The Columbia Publishing Course. “I look forward to helping guide her into a first job after the course and to watching her achieve her dreams.”

Asia Harden in Granada, Spain

Asia Harden in Granada, Spain

Arehart said that Harden is “highly motivated and took the right steps to achieve her dream of working in publishing.”

“She is a beautiful and thoughtful writer, has an excellent academic record and has demonstrated through her various endeavors, both on and off campus, a deep curiosity, not only about books, but also about social and political issues.”

Harden’s career goal: A job in New York City with a children’s book publisher in either editorial or publicity for young adult titles.