School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Posts Tagged ‘University of Mississippi’

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student George Young

Posted on: August 2nd, 2019 by ldrucker

George Young studied integrated marketing communications at the University of Mississippi with a business minor. The Madison, Mississippi native began his freshman year at the University of Mississippi undeclared and eventually chose IMC as his major.

He knew he was interested in journalism, art, and music, but wanted to find a major that would include all his interests and still give him a competitive marketing and business edge. He realized that with an IMC degree, he could one day have a career outside the conventional desk jobs.

His eyes were opened to how broad the journalism and marketing fields are and how they both connect in ways he could personalize to his interests. After taking a few classes, he said he began to see the world around him differently. He knew he had a special eye for recognizing what people want and figuring out how to get it to them.

Young is a member of the music and artist group Dreamland Gateway, and he performs under the moniker Harvey. Dreamland Gateway includes four hip-hop musicians and other contributing artists.

Dreamland Gateway has performed in Oxford four times over the past year. They have played at local house shows and at Proud Larry’s. Young’s music has inspired his degree and career path.

He wants to use his degree to get a job with Spotify or iTunes helping curate suggested music for subscribers. He hopes he can make a difference in the music industry and make the streaming experience more enjoyable for subscribers with his marketing expertise and music passion.

– By Miranda Waddell

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Alicia Watts

Tupelo native Alicia Watts moved to Oxford to pursue her bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi. She is majoring in English and minoring in journalism. Before becoming a Rebel, she attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton for two years.

“I was a mathematics major for a year and a half until I realized that English was my calling,” she said. “I hope to get my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Ole Miss, and then I plan to become an English professor at a community college on the East Coast.”

Watts said she’s known she wanted to become a teacher since she was little, but it wasn’t until her sophomore year of college that she realized her career path.

“Writing and reading are two of my passions, and I could not imagine doing anything else with my future,” she said. However, she wasn’t sure what her minor would be.

“I knew that I wanted to do something that involved writing because I wanted to do something that would benefit my major. My brother was a journalism major, and he currently works for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. I did not want to copy my brother, but I decided I should at least take a journalism class to see if I enjoyed it.

“The journalism class taught me so much about writing and inspired me, so I decided to officially make journalism my minor. All of my school assignments now involve writing, but I would not have it any other way. Choosing journalism was the best choice for me and my education.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Maggie Bell

Columbia, South Carolina native Maggie Bell grew up in Atlanta, where she attended a Catholic school from kindergarten until senior year. After kindergarten, she said her parents sent her to a pre-first grade school, so she is a year older than many of her peers, which has its perks.

Bell said she was inspired to major in integrated marketing communication by her sister, who graduated from the University of Georgia.

“She majored in public relations and now works as a sales representative for radio stations in Atlanta,” she said. “Since I watched her graduate from college and work during the summers before I even graduated high school, I always thought her job seemed very cool.”

Bell said she enjoys interacting with others and knew she didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day.

“She taught me some about her major, PR, which is very similar in my eyes to IMC,” Bell said. “I picked IMC because it also relates to journalism. In high school, I grew to enjoy writing. Communication is essential to personal and career success in order to understand yourself and others around you.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Perk Swift

Perk Swift, a native of a small town in South Georgia, followed his older brother to the University of Mississippi.

“I realize now Ole Miss was my blessing in disguise,” said Swift, who came to UM without knowing anyone other than his sibling and started a new life.

Instead of studying business or accounting like many friends and family members, Swift chose to study integrated marketing communications, or IMC, hoping to someday work in television.

 

“My dream job would have to be directing commercials,” said Swift, who said he’d also enjoy working in news or film production.

“The storyline matters, but what’s even more interesting to me is the shot,” he said, referring to his favorite movie, “Good Will Hunting.”

Swift said he hopes to one day work in front of or behind a camera.

  • By Talley Bass

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Talley Bass

Talley Bass moved from a small town in South Georgia to an even smaller town in North Mississippi before becoming a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student.

“I now see the irony in this,”she said. “I was tired of my small town life in Georgia and wanted something new. I picked the farthest college I could think of that was within my most tolerable driving distance, and I went.”

Bass enrolled in UM as a business major with a minor in art, but switched to IMC because she said it is a good combination of both fields.

“I love hearing people’s stories and getting to know their background,” she said. “When people are interviewed, they feel a sort of importance that they matter in the big picture. I enjoy making people feel important because I believe everyone plays a part of importance to society, offering different insight and thoughts.”

Bass said she supports the expression of individuality. “I am known in my circle of friends for being the one that could be fine for the rest of her life with no one else but myself,” she said. “I always wanted to be the person that did something no one else has, or does the crazy thing, because I grew up in such a predictable town.

‘I believe independence is important for a person because, at the end of the day, only you look at yourself in the mirror. You get to decide if you like what you see or not.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student Kenlea Barnes

Oxford native Kenlea Barnes is one of our many students who made Farley Hall part of her world while enrolled in elective classes. Even though she majored in general studies and minored in English, history and education, she chose to take some of the classes taught in the UM School of Journalism and New Media.

Raised in Desoto County, mostly in Southaven, Barnes said her favorite hobbies are watching Harry Potter and YouTube videos; playing with her three adorable cats, Renlea, Rory and Riley; and singing and hanging out with friends.

“The wizarding world of Harry Potter always made me feel like I was destined for greatness, like I could and would do anything,” she said. “This movie series (I do plan on reading the books. I just haven’t gotten the chance) has helped me to realize that Harry, just like myself, is “exceptionally ordinary” as Luna Lovegood would say. So, greatness is something a person becomes, something anyone can achieve.”

Although she didn’t major or minor in journalism, Barnes said the field is a big part of her life.

“YouTube, especially, is a huge form of communication,” she said, “and vlogging is like having an open diary of sorts,” she said. “… Journalism and communication shape the society in which we all live in today, and I, for one, am grateful.”

The School of Journalism and New Media welcomes anyone who has an interest in journalism or IMC classes to enroll in a course or get involved in some of our many clubs and organizations.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Caroline Nihill

Freshman Caroline Nihill, 19, spent her days in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before deciding to move to Oxford for a change of scenery at Ole Miss. Nihill also has family residing in Oxford, and desired the warmth of the South.

She originally started college as an English major before discovering journalism was the best fit for her. “I enjoy writing about the things currently happening in our society,” she said. “Not only that, I’m a very curious person who thoroughly enjoys research and finding the truth. I realized that journalism is something that would help me satisfy my curiosity and spread the truth on current events.”

Additionally, Nihill fell in love with the Ole Miss journalism program. She enjoys writing and loves investigating and discovering more about a topic.

“I just thought about where I could see myself in 10 years, and I can see myself being a journalist,” she said.

Nihill is working on a minor in political science. She understands politics and enjoys learning about government. She said the “nice, down-to-earth” people of the School of Journalism and New Media are her favorite aspect of the major, describing it as a community with commonalities. “I could read something interesting, and someone would sit down and dissect it with me,” she said.

She is also an ambassador for the School of Journalism, and noted the openness and genuineness found in that group. Nihill said fellow students are always open to discuss current events, offer advice, or simply talk.

Nihill knows the value of journalism and communication. “Communicating to a larger audience about the things that are or could be affecting them is a necessary thing for the world to function,” she said, adding that communication is the basis of who we are as humans and how we interact with one another.

“Journalism is the people who consume it, considering they decide what to read and how they want it accessible to them,” she said.

Nihill was part of the Oxford Stories journalism class this semester, and she won the Editor Award at the end of the semester, evidence that she has demonstrated leadership skills and quality work.

She aspires to become an investigative print journalist to satisfy her hunger for truth. “Journalism is what I consider myself good at, and it feels like second nature,” she said.

– By Chloe Baker

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media journalism student Chloe Baker

Olive Branch native Chloe Baker, 19, was raised just an hour north of Oxford on the Tennessee line. She is the fourth of five children.

“When I was younger, I spent my days listening to music, playing soccer, and watching sports (especially football and baseball) with my family,” she said. “One day while watching football, I realized that I could become a sideline reporter, just like those women I watched on television and admired. That sparked the idea of studying journalism, which I kept in mind as I went through high school.”

Chloe Baker

As a sophomore, Baker joined her school’s news broadcast program and loved it. She worked as an anchor, reporter, director, producer, photographer, and more.

“When senior year arrived, I was torn between the University of Memphis and Ole Miss,” she said. “However, when I visited Ole Miss, I just knew this was home. The amazing journalism department happens to be a fantastic plus.”

Baker said journalism is important.

“Though many conflicting opinions arise when discussing media, one thing rings true – it is a necessity,” she said. “Without journalism and communications, people would have no way of learning about the world around them.

“The job of a journalist is extremely important and unique, as they get to learn about the world, then share it with the world. It is a beautiful thing to have the ability to be a storyteller and promote truth and awareness for various topics.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Cam Achord

Achord, 20, is an integrated marketing communications major from Olive Branch, Mississippi near Memphis. He said he chose to attend the University of Mississippi because it is located far enough away from his hometown to give him independence, but he’s still within driving distance of his family, who he enjoys visiting and spending time with.

“I chose to pursue a degree in integrated marketing communications because I felt that is was geared towards certain aptitudes of mine,” said the National Merit Finalist. “I find the coordination of different elements of advertising very interesting, and I like to think from an advertiser’s point of view.”

Originally a psychology major with plans to attend medical school, Achord said he learned he wasn’t as passionate about the career field as he thought he would be.

“I did, however, very much enjoy studying psychology,” he said. “I believe that there is a strong element of psychology associated with marketing, as one must understand the tendencies of the human mind to effectively advertise and persuade people.”

Achord also believes communication is important. “Without communication, the spread of information would be extremely limited, and we would not be able to enjoy many of the accomplishments made by humanity,” he said.

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Parker Blaylock.

Blaylock, 20, is a University of Mississippi junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications with a specialization in public relations and a minor in general business.

The Eupora native was originally a biochemistry major, but after hearing from friends about the School of Journalism and New Media’s IMC program, he decided to make the switch during his freshman year at Ole Miss.

Blaylock quickly fell in love with the program and all the potential career options, saying it has taught him how to think critically and creatively.

“Before I became an IMC major, I was lost,” he said. “I really did not have a sense of direction for what I wanted in life.”

Blaylock said his personal skills are best utilized in the world of marketing and sales. He is proud of his communication skills and sees value in those skills for his daily life and future career path.

“Communication is one of the most important skills a person can have, in my opinion,” he said. “There aren’t many scenarios in life where you won’t have to communicate with someone.”

After he finishes school, Blaylock plans to pursue a career at an advertising agency working in the creative department. He sees himself living in a larger city, specifically New York or Nashville.

Ideally, he would like to create social media content and do copywriting, but he is also interested in conducting research for campaigns.

Blaylock said he would also love to work for a greater cause at a nonprofit organization, such as the Human Rights Campaign or the Advertising Council.

– By Ali Arnold

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Allie Allen.

Allen, 20, is a University of Mississippi sophomore majoring in integrated marketing communications. The Jacksonville, Florida native moved to Memphis at age 6 because her dad took another job.

“In 2013, my life took a turn when I was diagnosed with brain cancer,” she said. “After my first brain surgery, I became a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. One of the reasons I chose to come to Ole Miss was because it is far enough, yet close enough to my house and St. Jude if I ever need to go there for treatment or scans.”

Allen said the past six years of her cancer journey have made her realize how much she wanted to work for the hospital that saved her life.

“As much as I would love to be a doctor, I do not feel that I am fit for that job,” she said, “but there are many different jobs that work directly with the hospital that I am interested in working with in the future.”

The fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is called ALSAC, an acronym for American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities.

“ALSAC specifically has jobs that deal with integrated marketing communications,” said Allen, “and this is a big part of why I chose IMC as my major. I feel that integrated marketing communication is important because it is more than just marketing.

“It takes all the aspects of marketing communications and combines them together using different approaches for a specific customer. Even if I do not end up working for ALSAC or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, I wish to work for a company that gives back. I plan to take everything I have learned from this major and apply it to my future career.”

Meet University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media IMC student Shelby Bickes.

The Saltillo native, 22, who is majoring in integrated marketing communications, said she chose IMC because she enjoys creative thinking and how IMC requires you to create and design, yet also involves business, marketing and communications.

As a senior, Bickes has been very involved on campus. Since her freshman year, she has worked with the Wesley Foundation, a United Methodist campus ministry. She served on the entertainment committee for the Student Activities Association, providing campus entertainment and opportunities for student involvement in programming.

She was also a member of the advanced ceramics group, The Mud Daubers, and she participated in an internship with the Oxford Arts Council.

“IMC is about meeting all of the ever-changing generations in their way of effective communications and marketing,” she said.

Column: I was anxious to leave Delaware, but Mississippi felt like the place I belonged

Posted on: June 18th, 2019 by ldrucker

As I look back on my time as a student at the University of Mississippi, I have nothing but fond memories.

From my first day freshmen year, moving to a new state, not knowing a single soul, I met a random roommate from Minnesota who was so homesick she tried to move home the entire first month of school.

I went to the dining hall at the wrong time every day and couldn’t figure out why only half the food stations weren’t open. I even missed my first college exam because it was given on Blackboard on a Friday night, and I forgot to take it.

Now these may not sound like amazing memories to you, but they are how my college experience began. As a second semester senior, I look back on all of those memories and wish I could go back to my very first day and relive everything again. I would love to have my undergraduate experience repeat over and over again.

Alli George

Farley Hall

Fast forward to senior year. I still live with my random Minnesota roommate who turned out to be one of my best friends.

I finally found something I was really passionate about, and I switched majors from public policy leadership to integrated marketing communications.

The School of Journalism and New Media has provided me with some amazing opportunities over the past few years. My public relations class assisted me in obtaining an internship. Through experiences with my classes, I have obtained two other internships during my college career. One was last summer as a marketing intern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The other was a marketing internship with the Oxford Community Market during my sophomore year.

Besides the academic opportunities that Ole Miss has given me, it also created an environment for me to grow as a person and grow socially. When I first moved to college, I was anxious and nervous. I had never lived anywhere besides Delaware. However, I knew I needed to move somewhere new or I might never leave my hometown.

My senior year of high school, I applied to many schools in the South. I figured at no other point in my life would I live in the South, and I wanted to experience the culture. My parents took me to visit all of the schools I was accepted into. I honestly really liked most of them, but I always felt a stronger connection to Ole Miss.

Lyceum. Photo by Alli George.

From the day I took my tour, I felt at home on the Ole Miss campus. As anxious as I was to leave home, it felt like the place I belonged. I wanted to move to a place that made me feel uncomfortable, as crazy as that might sound.

I knew Mississippi, as a state, had different political viewpoints than I did and stronger religious beliefs. I wanted to put myself in a place where I didn’t necessarily agree with everything that was going on. Mississippi proved to be a very good place to do that.

I came here with a certain perception of Mississippi, and I didn’t think that would change over my four years as a student. However, now as I’m about to leave Mississippi forever, I have such a fond view of this state. Even though there may be some aspects of the state’s past and present political views that I may not agree with, Mississippi has changed my life forever.

I will always be grateful for the state of Mississippi for building a university that provided me with much more than an education. I became a writer, joined a large Greek organization, became a leader on campus and came out of my shell socially. I have made friends that will hopefully last a lifetime.

I have had many of my “lasts” in Oxford. My last senior dinner with my sorority sisters. Finishing my last classes to get my degree in integrated marketing communications.

I’m nervous and anxious all over again, except this time, it’s about going home. I found a home in Oxford these past four years, and now I have to re-establish that home back in Delaware. I don’t have a plan for what’s next. I have applied to just about every marketing job in the state of Delaware. I have also applied to graduate school to pursue my master’s degree in business administration.

Whatever the future might hold, I am so thankful and grateful for Ole Miss. This university has helped me grow in so many ways. I’m sure if I had attended another school, I could have had a similar experience. However, I would have never had my first Saturday in the Grove, all my memories on the Square with my incredible friends, and all the sunsets I watched set over Sardis Lake.

Most importantly, I would have never been a Rebel. For the rest of my life, I will be proud and honored to say I am an Ole Miss alumnus. Hotty Toddy!

This column was written by Alli George before graduation. To learn more about our journalism and IMC programs, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

 

Faculty Profile: Burson teaches students to find their passion

Posted on: May 25th, 2019 by ldrucker

Mark Burson began teaching at the University of Mississippi Jan. 27, 2016, but not before spending 43 years in California.

“My only regret is that it took me so long to discover Oxford, Mississippi,” he said. “I wish I had done it 30 years ago.”

Growing up, Burson had no desire to teach. He wanted to play baseball.

“I went to a private school,” he said, “and I was the first freshman to start all four years. I made all-league those four years as well. So by the time I was a senior, I thought I was really good.”

With no collegiate offers to play ball, Burson decided to walk on at the University of Southern California. At the time, USC had a freshman team and a junior varsity team that held open tryouts for walk-on athletes. He made the team.

“I spent two weeks on that team,” he said, “and I was amazed at how good everybody else was. I soon realized that I had never seen a real curveball before. I had never seen athletes who were so fast and could jump so high.”

Reality began to set in, so he talked with the coach, asking when was the last time that someone from the freshman team made it to JV or varsity? “The coach said, ‘Oh that’s easy. Fred Lynn.’”

Fred Lynn is a former center-fielder who had an impressive career in the Major Leagues. Burson said he then realized he had to do something else with his life.

While studying art history, only because he registered late for classes, Burson discovered he really enjoyed it. “It was through art history that I developed this appreciation of just looking at the world, and then being able to tell stories about what I saw,” he said. “And while I didn’t know it at the time, that was the business that I would end up in.”

Burson graduated from USC in 1977, but decided to stick around for graduate school. He earned his master’s degree in public relations in 1979.

If you’re in the public relations business, you’ve probably heard of Harold Burson, his father, who co-founded Burson-Marsteller in 1952.

“I had no intention of ever working for my father’s company, and that happened just through serendipity,” he said.

Burson joined the Santa Monica-based firm in 1985, but left in 1997 to run the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for seven years before returning to Burson-Marsteller.

“Through accident of birth, I was born into a PR family,” Burson said. “I didn’t have a choice; it just happened. Because of that, I’ve had a unique ringside seat to the growth of this business.”

Burson said the business that has only been around for about 100 years has changed a lot. If you’re an integrated marketing communications major at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media, you may have an idea of this change.

“This business used to be about relationships between the agency and the client,” Burson said, “and when I first started, that’s what really appealed to me, because you could develop, not only business relationships with the client, but also real friendships.”

Burson feels the industry has moved past these relationships and is now in a more “What can you do for me today?” state of mind. He said the things he loved most about the business has been slowly vanishing and transitioning into what he calls PR or publicity stunts – doing a random act to attract the public’s attention.

“That’s not what I signed up for,” Burson said.

With the nature of the business changing, Burson said he knew he wasn’t going to be able to do the things he really liked doing, so he developed an interest in endurance competitive cycling. After competing in several signature events, Burson thought about starting a company that would help promote those events, but nothing took off.

It wasn’t until a friend invited him to guest lecture a course at USC Annenberg School of Communications, Burson thought: “Wow. This is a pretty cool gig.”

With two of his children out of the house and the third about to graduate high school, Burson began to consider teaching. When his daughter graduated high school, she decided to attend the University of Mississippi because she heard about it through Burson’s father, Harold Burson, who earned his degree from UM.

Burson moved his daughter to Oxford and said, “I just fell in love with Oxford and the university and inquired about how to get a teaching job here in the school of journalism, and what would I teach,” he said. “The subject that I knew most about was how to put together a campaign from start to finish, and then build an environment within that team that would optimize success. So that’s what I teach here and why I’m here.”

Burson doesn’t just teach a class; he makes connections with each student, and he builds relationships that last. Anessa Guess, who took a class under Burson, said he is a wonderful teacher whose aim is to positively impact student lives.

“In just a short time, he inspired a classroom full of hopefuls to go beyond the normal realm of dreaming and tear down the veil to seek limitless dreaming with a sturdy foundation to start with,” she said. “He is a teacher capable of so many things, and the most important is instilling hope, grounding, diligence, and character in the youth of tomorrow with tools learned from the past.”

Audrey Ryan, who was also enrolled in a class Burson taught, said he is her favorite instructor. “His enthusiasm for not only IMC, but teaching is inspiring,” she said. “He is interested in each individual’s path and wants to learn about every student he teaches.

“You can tell his passion is teaching just by the way he interacts with his students, and the way he can build a bond with each student, and always have a way to relate to them. He is phenomenal at what he does, and as a person.”

Burson has found his passion, and he teaches students to never give up searching for what you’re passionate about. Take chances. Live life. Do what makes you happy, no matter where it might take you.

This story was written by Brandon Hancock for OxfordStories.net. To learn more about our program, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

University of Mississippi journalism student honored for defending First Amendment at Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Posted on: May 16th, 2019 by ldrucker

There are few principles that journalists hold dearer than the First Amendment, and on the rooftop of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Ole Miss journalism sophomore Grace Marion was honored for her work in fighting for the fundamental rights of a free press.

Marion won a Hefner First Amendment Award, and in introducing her to the crowd, Washington Post columnist and award judge Karen Tumulty indicated how impressed she was by Marion’s work.

“Many have been asking, ‘Is there even a future for journalism?’ Well, we have an answer in two words – Grace Marion.”

While in high school, Marion was editor-in-chief for The Playwickian, the student newspaper at Neshaminy High in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. In the face of much resistance, she published an investigation into the way the school handled records of sexual harassment and assault complaints against teachers.

Grace Marion

“Again, and again, Grace fought censorship,” Tumulty said. “Courage and fortitude won her this award.”

Other award winners included Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, who wrote the bestselling book, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, and attorney Ted Boutrous, Jr., who represented CNN’s Jim Acosta when Acosta had his White House press credentials pulled.

Marion said she was excited to learn about her award, but a bit overwhelmed when she learned who else had won.

“I thought, ‘Oh no, they messed up.’ My work didn’t actually do anything, and that guy got Jim Acosta’s press pass back,” Marion said.

Marion’s parents and Assistant Dean Deb Wenger were in the audience to cheer Marion on. Wenger said the school is proud to have her in the program.

“Grace has the drive and the smarts to do whatever she wants to do,” Wenger said. “I’m just glad she wants to be a journalist and that she wants to learn her craft at our school.”

Marion said her goal is to one day be a foreign correspondent. Tumulty is confident we’ll be hearing more about her in the future.

“Now a sophomore at Ole Miss, Grace Marion is just getting started,” Tumulty said.

Never Dimming Her Light: Thornton excels and overcomes obstacles to graduate

Posted on: May 15th, 2019 by ldrucker

The obstacles in the way of pursuing a college education began well before Lasherica Thornton stepped foot on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

A Type 1 diabetic and mother of two before she graduated from Bruce High School at the top of her class, Thornton was never a stranger to adversity.

“My mother passed away when I was 2 years old,” Thornton said. “She was killed in a car accident. I was dealing with that as I was growing up, and I had the typical behavioral problems that go with it.”

Thornton had her first child, Naomi, when she was 13. She had her second daughter, Aubrey, when she was in high school.

“Honestly, (Naomi) changed my life for the better,” Thornton said. “I just don’t know where I would be if it was not for her. (Aubrey) further helped me become the person I am today.”

Lasherica Thornton was named one of the Who’s Who students at the University of Mississippi Class of 2018-19. Thornton said her daughters Aubrey, left, and Naomi, middle, keep her motivated.

When it came time to pick a college, Thornton decided it was best to stay close to home and attended UM on a variety of scholarships.

“We moved to Oxford and they loved it just as much as I did,” she said.

Thornton found her calling early in life when an adviser recommended she join her high school newspaper.

“From the first moment of writing that first story, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

Thornton hit the ground running at Ole Miss, excelling in her classwork and joining a variety of organizations. But obstacles continued. Her diabetes caused health issues, putting her in intensive care twice. Another health scare occurred when Thornton was a freshman.

“Naomi had a seizure and I had to rush her to the hospital,” she said. “When I got her home, I still had a final exam to take. I had to get her situated, get to campus and take a final. It was moments like that (that were the biggest obstacles).”

Thornton said she would not have made it through her three-and-a-half years at Ole Miss and gotten her job at The Jackson Sun, a daily newspaper in Jackson, Tennessee, without her professors, particularly Jennifer Simmons, assistant dean for student services in the School of Journalism and New Media, and Alysia Burton Steele, assistant professor of journalism.

Thornton is the education reporter at The Jackson Sun, a daily newspaper in Jackson, Tennessee.

“I owe Ole Miss so much and all of the professors so much for that,” she said.

Thornton said she looks forward to Commencement.

“I worked really hard for this,” she said. “I’m not a person who gives up, so I was never giving up, but it was about getting through those tough moments.

“More than anything, it’s about breaking statistics and letting my children be able to see that mama did this with two kids. They saw mama graduate high school as valedictorian, but mama went beyond that and got her bachelor’s.”

She said Ole Miss has taught her to strive for her goals, no matter the twists and turns it takes to get there.

“I got my first B in college,” she said. “I cried about that. Some people may have thought that was silly, but don’t let anybody stop you from crying about the things that you are passionate about.

“This university showed me (that you) don’t ever dim your light for anybody. Always be dedicated and determined to do what you want to do.”

This story was written by Justin Whitmore of University Marketing Communications. For more information about our programs, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

UM School of Journalism and New Media professor’s work featured on American Heritage Magazine website

Posted on: May 15th, 2019 by ldrucker

An excerpt from a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professor’s book has been featured on the American Heritage Magazine website.

It features part of the book Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi written by professor Ellen B. Meacham.

The book places Kennedy’s visit to Mississippi into the context of the times, “including an examination of the War on Poverty and the evolution of the civil rights movement to a focus on economic issues,” Meacham said in a book description featured on her website.

“Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a son of America’s promise, power, and privilege, knelt in a crumbling shack in 1967 Mississippi, trying to coax a response from a child listless from hunger,” the American Heritage excerpt begins. “After several minutes with little response, the senator, profoundly moved, walked out the back door to speak with reporters. He told them that America had to do better. What he was seeing, as he privately told an aide and a reporter, was worse than anything he had seen before in this country.”

Click the link below to read more.

https://www.americanheritage.com/robert-f-kennedy-mississippi

UM School of Journalism and New Media graduates were stylish from head to toe

Posted on: May 12th, 2019 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media students showed off their graduation style from head to toe Saturday.

Many members of the class of 2019 sported creatively designed high heels and unique caps with funny or meaningful messages.

While some featured iconic elements of the Ole Miss campus, such as the Walk of Champions, others became canvases for paintings of the graduates, Bible verses and celebratory messages.

Take a look at the gallery of photos we snapped. Photos by students Halle Ames, Benton Dodd and Ingrid Valbuena.

School of Journalism and New Media professor named Chair of the Americas at University of Rennes

Posted on: May 9th, 2019 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi journalism professor Kathleen Wickham served as Chair of the Americas/Chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rennes in Brittany, France, while on sabbatical this spring.

It was Wickham’s second trip to France to teach. In 2016, while researching her book We Believed We Were Immortal: Twelve Reporters Who Covered the 1962 Integration Crisis at Ole Miss, about the killing of French journalist Paul Guihard in Oxford, she gave lectures at the Pantheon Sorbonne University and the University of Rennes 2.

“Paul Guihard serves as the link between Brittany and Ole Miss,” Wickham said. “He is the only reporter killed during the civil rights era. The fact that it occurred on our campus is a shame, but it also creates an opportunity today to let the world know we are not the same campus that we were in 1962.”

UM journalism professor Kathleen Wickham (standing) talks with students in her media ethics class. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

After that visit in 2016, Wickham learned of the Chair of the Americas position, applied and was approved to go this spring.

Wickham lectured on a variety of topics related to media coverage of civil rights and media ethics, specifically on “fake news” and the status of American media. She is also working to further relations between Ole Miss and the University of Rennes by serving as a link between the two universities to develop a student exchange program.

“Our Office of Global Engagement is working with their Rennes’ counterparts,” Wickham said. “The goal is to start a one-on-one student exchange and then expand as interest develops.”

Wickham said she always wanted to work abroad and has been grateful for the opportunity to do so this semester.

“The administration, faculty and students have been supportive, welcoming and engaging,” she said. “We have shared stories of academic life, discussed research and world affairs. Student issues are universal; faculty life similar with research, service responsibilities and committee work.”

Wickham believes her students also have benefitted.

“For most, it was the first time they have interacted with an American,” she said. “I am an animated teacher who asks students questions to generate a discussion.

“They all follow American politics and know far more about American culture than, I expect, American students know about France. I hope they viewed me as a good ambassador of the U.S. and Ole Miss.”

Her future Ole Miss students will benefit from her experiences in France, as well.

“I am going to add more international examples to my ethics casebook to expand the worldviews of my students. I also plan on developing a course on ‘fake news’ based on the course I taught in France.

“The issue is universal, and news organizations are now staffing desks with personnel whose task it is to ascertain the accuracy of facts, photographs and sources.”

Documentary UM student helped create wins Student Edward R. Murrow Award

Posted on: May 4th, 2019 by ldrucker

A documentary that a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student helped create has won the Student Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting.

The 2018 Carnegie-Knight News21 documentary “Hate in America” that UM student Brittany Brown helped create also recently won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the college category.

Brown was one of the students selected to participate in the national investigation into hate crimes in the U.S. as part of the 2017 Carnegie-Knight News21 multimedia reporting initiative.

The Quitman native has worked for the Student Media Center as a digital content producer, anchor and correspondent for NewsWatch Ole Miss, and as writer and assistant news editor for The Daily Mississippian.

She was an intern at WTOK-TV in Meridian and a research intern in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Summer Research Program. She is former president of the University of Mississippi Association of Black Journalists.

Previously, Brown was honored for her work by the Radio-Television Digital News Association, the Broadcast Education Association and the Editor & Publisher EPPY Awards honoring the best in digital media.

Headquartered at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, News21 was established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to demonstrate that college journalism students can produce innovative, in-depth multimedia projects on a national scale.

Students from journalism programs across the U.S., as well as Canada and Ireland, joined Cronkite students for the 2018 investigation. They examined the major issues surrounding hate crimes in America.

The students participated in a spring semester seminar in which they conducted research, interviewed experts and began their reporting. The seminar was taught in person and via video conference by Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post and Cronkite’s Weil Family Professor of Journalism, and News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former senior editor for investigations and enterprise at the Houston Chronicle.

“We chose hate crimes and hate incidents as this year’s timely News21 topic because of the apparent increase throughout the country of such acts – from bullying and vandalism to assaults and murders – involving racial, religious, nationality, gender and sexual orientation bias,” Downie said in a news release.

Following the seminar, students moved into paid summer fellowships, during which they worked out of a newsroom at the Cronkite School in Phoenix and traveled across the country to report and produce their stories.

“We will be able to do what many newsrooms cannot, which is to deploy dozens of student journalists to investigate the culture of hate and related acts of violence in every state in the nation,” Petchel said in a news release. “Not only do recent attacks on people of different races and religions call for it, it is the right thing to do in the name of public service journalism.”

Over the past eight years, Carnegie-Knight News21 projects have included investigations into voting rights, post-9/11 veterans, marijuana laws and guns in America, among other topics.

UM Students Host Live Production at BEA Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas

Posted on: April 29th, 2019 by ldrucker

UM School of Journalism and New Media students in a special topics class recently traveled to Las Vegas to host a live production during the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts award show. Professors Iveta Imre, Mike Fagans and Ji Hoon Heo led the group of students.

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-winning works chosen through these various competition categories: news, sports, documentary, and scriptwriting.

This year, the BEA Festival competition for faculty and students awarded 295 entries from more than 300 participating schools and had over 1,500 annual entries from around the world, according to their website.

The UM students in the class were each tasked with different responsibilities ranging from creating video features to on-screen graphics.

Sophomore Brian Barisa said his experience at the festival is something you just can’t get inside a classroom.

“At the BEA festival, I got more real-world experience,” Barisa said. “I got to learn what it’s like to work in these other roles of production outside of just NewsWatch and basic classwork.”

Festival Creative Director and UM Assistant Professor Iveta Imre has been attending the conference since 2005 and was officially tasked with hosting this year’s event.

“I think the biggest thing for the students was to get a different experience from everything else that they’ve been doing in the broadcast program,” Imre said. “They got to experience what it’s like to have a real live production in front of an audience, and you don’t really get a chance to do that often.”

Imre said her favorite part of the show was watching student features along with the crowd and hearing their reactions.

“We got some laughs and cries,” she said. “It was just so rewarding to see all these months of hard work come together to make this show a success.”

Irme will remain creative director for the next two years, she said, and UM students will continue to host the BEA festival during that time.

Aside from hosting the BEA award show, students who traveled to Las Vegas also got the opportunity to attend the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Conference.

The NAB Conference is an annual trade show that highlights and showcases various new media, entertainment, and technology.

“My favorite part about the trip would be the NAB show,” Barisa said. “I am a pretty big tech guy, so it was a lot of fun to go check out new gear and equipment that is now available in the industry.”

This story was written for HottyToddy.com by By Alec Kyzer-Andre. For more information about our program, email jour-imc@olemiss.edu.