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PR News names UM School of Journalism and New Media graduate one of its Rising PR Stars 30 & Under

Posted on: November 25th, 2020 by ldrucker

PR News has named a 2018 University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate as one of its Rising PR Stars 30 & Under.

As the first member of the newly formed Idea Grove PR team in Dallas, Sarah Jenne, a UM Integrated Marketing Communications graduate, played a pivotal role in developing many best practices. After just a year, Jenne was chosen to spearhead Idea Grove’s PR practice at a time when the agency was transitioning to a specialization-focused staffing model, the PR News website reports.

Sarah Jenne

Sarah Jenne

“Sarah developed the Customer Brand Ambassador program for WorkFusion, an automation technology provider,” her PR News bio reads. “Sarah was consistently getting interest from reporters seeking real-world examples, but WorkFusion lacked a bank of media-ready customers. Sarah created a fact-based recommendation for the client, developed materials for educating customers on the opportunity, and soon had multiple customers on deck for media engagement.”

Robin Street, senior lecturer at the School of Journalism and New Media before her retirement, said she was proud of  Jenne for earning this honor, because she stood out as a young professional, but she was also an outstanding student.

“I remember telling Sarah that she would be a great PR professional and that she should earn our school’s specialization in it,” Street said. “I initially was especially impressed at her writing skills, because so much of public relations work requires communicating through writing. Then I also observed I her ability to stay poised under pressure and to multi-task with ease.”

Street said Jenne took the advanced PR class in a one-month intensive summer session. The class required completing a mini-internship, multiple writing and research assignments and a full public relations campaign as a final project.

“Many students struggle to juggle all those requirements, but not Sarah,” Street said. “She did excellent work and exemplified time management skills. I still have the evaluation form her internship supervisor completed about her, and it says, ‘As this was a short time period to accomplish a lot of tasks, she did an amazing job.'”

In addition to her talents and skills, Street said, “She is also a delightful young woman who has the ability to get along with multiple types of people. Any employer is lucky to have her.”

As the impact from COVID-19 turned newsrooms upside down in March 2020, PR News reports that Jenne “tapped into her network of reporters to collect information on their changing beats and candid feedback on their receptiveness to pitches, helping clients make informed decisions about upcoming announcements and external communication strategies.”

PR News’ PR People Awards and Rising PR Stars 30 & Under competition showcases top talent, passionate professionals and budding PR leaders who, day in and day out, are making communications matter in the marketplace, according to their website.

“The winners of this annual program set the benchmark for PR and underscore the outstanding PR achievements made in the past year—and our 2020 class of honorees is no different,” it reads.

The website reports that many of this year’s award recipients acknowledged the challenging role of public relations and communications in the midst of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and social unrest.

“In many instances, our honorees had to pivot their messaging to both internal and external stakeholders, create crisis playbooks on the fly or determine how their brands could, and should, best respond beyond statements,” it reads. “From internal communications and community relations to crisis management, media relations and beyond, the individuals recognized this year cover the wide breadth and depth of the industry. We invite you to read more about their individual accomplishments below.”

Alumni Stories: UM School of Journalism and New Media grad works in PR and Influence with Ogilvy Chicago

Posted on: November 2nd, 2020 by ldrucker

Biloxi native Victoria Berry, a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate, is proof that big things can happen if you remain open to possibilities.

Berry, 27, now works as an account executive in PR and Influence at Ogilvy Chicago. Her responsibilities include daily account management, media relations, and influencer strategy.

Ogilvy has 132 offices in 83 countries and is described as a “doorway to a creative network, re-founded to make brands matter in a complex, noisy, hyper-connected world,” according to the company website.

Read Berry’s story and the stories of other School of Journalism and New Media alumni on our Alumni Stories page.

Victoria Berry

Victoria Berry

 

 

The Daily Mississippian wins Newspaper Pacemaker Award, one of college media’s highest honors

Posted on: October 31st, 2020 by ldrucker

The 2019-20 Daily Mississippian has been awarded one of college media’s highest honors: a Newspaper Pacemaker Award.

Each year, the Associated Collegiate Press presents Pacemaker awards to the best in collegiate journalism. Entries are judged by teams of professionals based upon coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics.

Daniel Payne was editor-in-chief in 2019-20, and Eliza Noe was managing editor.

The awards ceremony was held during the annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association annual conference (virtual this year).

Daily Mississippian

Daily Mississippian

The 2019-20 Daily Mississippian also recently won an Honorable Mention for Best Daily Newspaper in the CMA Pinnacle Awards contest. The 2018-2019 DM also won an Honorable Mention in this contest.

The University of California-Los Angeles Daily Bruin won first, The Michigan Daily at University of Michigan was second, The Daily Orange at Syracuse University was third, and The DM tied with California State University-Fullerton for Honorable Mention.

“These are both national awards, meaning student newspapers from all across the country enter in the contests, and we compete against extremely talented student journalists who work for great publications,” Payne said. “In these instances, we ranked among the top 20 and top five newspapers to compete, respectively.”

Payne said he believes what made The DM stand apart are the combined passion, creativity and dedication of the staff.

“It’s a joy to work with people who are driven to serve their community and are talented enough to do it in such a powerful way,” he said. “The staff was one of the most talented, inspiring groups of people with which I’ve had the pleasure of working.

“At the end of the day, that is what these student journalists work so hard to do: serve their campus and community through quality reporting. It’s really wonderful to see that passion and talent recognized on the national level.”

Payne said it’s also impossible to understate the importance of the editorial advisors at the Student Media Center.

“Our advisors taught us, believed in us and led by example for us — all while giving us the independence to allow us to own the newspaper we produced,” he said.

Daniel Payne

Daniel Payne

Payne said if you want to lead, serve, create, think and learn, the Student Media Center is the place for you.

“I worked for student media from my first semester at UM, and it has been the highlight of my education at the university,” he said. “I was smarter, more inspired, more engaged and more successful because of my time at the Student Media Center — especially because of the effort of the faculty at the SMC.”

Eliza Noe served as managing editor for the 2019-2020 Daily Mississippian staff. She is now the editor-in-chief.

“Hundreds of papers all over the country submit for (these awards), and that involves choosing your best five issues,” Noe said. “They didn’t split it up into categories, so we were in the running with weekly, daily and bi-weekly publications. It’s amazing to see that our hard work was able to compete with other really great student work.”

Eliza Noe

Eliza Noe

Noe said the 2019-2020 DM staff was a “dream team.”

“Everyone on staff was on the same page about what kind of coverage we wanted to have, and that went across all sections of the paper,” she said. “We also became very close as friends, and I think that helped a lot with team-building and cooperation. It was definitely rewarding to see how much everyone had grown by the end of last semester.”

Noe also commended the advisors.

“I think having both journalistic and editorial freedom, and also constructive feedback, makes the Student Media Center one of the best places to learn,” she said.

Noe began working at the DM her freshmen year.

“There’s no way I would be as comfortable in my own abilities if I didn’t have the newsroom experience I’ve had,” she said. “Getting to learn all of the levels of how a publication works has shown what I’m passionate about and how to get there.

“I think working at the Student Media Center allows you to actually apply the skills you learn in a classroom in a way you can use to better yourself as a journalist, designer, photographer, etc. We welcome anyone who’s interested in putting in the work.”

If you are interested in getting involved with The Daily Mississippian, you may email Noe at dmeditor@gmail.com or the newsdesk thedmnews@gmail.com.

2020-21 Student Media Managers: Leading through unprecedented times

Posted on: October 29th, 2020 by ldrucker

Our 2020-2021 student leaders were selected before anyone knew how much change would take place this academic year. Meeting and producing content remotely. Distribution disruptions. Making decisions about what to do when your staffs are exposed to COVID-19. Figuring out how to tell stories without in-person interviews. Trying to keep advertisers interested. And so much more. They are rising to meet the challenges.

 

Brian Barisa

Brian Barisa

BRIAN BARISA – NewsWatch Ole Miss Manager

After four years of broadcast classes and production in high school, Brian Barisa was immediately intrigued when he toured the University of Mississippi and realized he could become involved with the Student Media Center as early as his freshman year.

Barisa – from Frisco, Texas – is a senior broadcast journalism student spending 2020 as NewsWatch Ole Miss station manager. And what a year it’s been.

Barisa started his manager stint in January. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his student staff had to quickly adapt and change some of the original plans for this year.

Normally, NewsWatch Ole Miss would be a half-hour live broadcast on cable Channel 99 five evenings a week.

“We have switched to a once-a-week format and mostly online-only, so it allows for a slower-paced take on the high-speed world of news,” Barisa said. “The new weekly format allows us to be a hub for weekly content and gives us new ways to experiment with new ideas for the show when things are back up and running normally.”

From staff member to manager, Barisa said he’s learned numerous lessons during his time at the SMC, but most importantly, he’s learned how to share the workload with his staff.

“I have had to learn how to lead, be a leader, and delegate work down,” Barisa said. “Being so used to having to do everything on my own made me more self-reliant, and I needed to learn how to lead and give people jobs to do.”

When not at the SMC, Barisa is working as the content coordinator for Ole Miss Esports, as well as playing Rainbow Six: Siege for the varsity team.

“Esports is a new market that has been steadily emerging across the country, especially since even in a world where COVID-19 has kept people indoors, Esports tournaments are still able to go on with strong viewership,” Barisa said.

After he graduates in May 2021, Barisa wants to be able to look back to see NewsWatch return as a daily show that remains successful and maintains viewership. For this year, though, Barisa said anyone interested in joining the SMC family should be ready for new challenges each day.

“Every day is a new experience, some are slow, some are crazy fast,” Barisa said. “Be ready to work and to work fast. It’s a big news year and it’s important to stay on top of everything going on.”

Barisa’s dream is to be a news producer in Dallas or to continue working in Esports after he graduates in May 2021.

 

Jesus Escobedo

Jesus Escobedo

JESUS ESCOBEDO – Rebel Radio Station Manager

Senior Jesus Escobedo has been on the Rebel Radio staff since 2018. The senior digital marketing major from Zacatecas, Mexico, isn’t letting COVID-19 ruin his year.

“The pandemic has certainly affected my plans for this semester,” Escobedo said. “I have had to go back to the drawing board and readjust to the new safety guidelines. With the time I have as station manager, I want to leave Rebel Radio in a place that everybody wants to join.”

Some of his goals for the year include producing new content for the weekends and implementing a new music hour block.

Escobedo, a student in the School of Business, found the Student Media Center after a friend encouraged him to apply for a marketing internship with the station. Now, he wants to encourage other students to take a look at what the SMC has to offer.

“I would say 100% do it,” Escobedo said. “The SMC is a great place to work and get experience for your future careers. A lot of students who have worked at the SMC have gone on to do great things in life.”

Escobedo started his duties as manager this summer, and Roy Frostenson, radio station adviser, said Escobedo has done a great job.

“Jesus is a true Rebel Radio veteran having previously been a DJ and then promotions/marketing director so I was thrilled when he got his chance to be station manager and he has not disappointed,” Frostenson said.  “He’s brought great diversity to our programming and his dedication and enthusiasm for the radio station is easy to see.”

Escobedo also serves as a social media ambassador for the university. After graduation in December, he plans to move to Texas or Chicago to work in the marketing field or with a music record label.

Over the last couple of years in the SMC, Escobedo says he has learned to be more of a leader and has many fond memories of working at Rebel Radio.

“My favorite thing about the SMC is that everybody is so welcoming,” Escobedo said. “My favorite memories would have to be getting to go on air in the booth and playing music for Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month.”

 

Asia Harden

Asia Harden

ASIA HARDEN – The Ole Miss Yearbook Editor-in-Chief

This year’s editor-in-chief for The Ole Miss yearbook is making history as only the second African American editor-in-chief since its first publication in 1897.

Asia Harden, a senior from Greenville, Mississippi, majoring in integrated marketing communications, is excited to lead the staff to create this year’s annual edition.

“I randomly found the Student Media Center website the summer before my freshman year, which led me to find the yearbook,” Harden said. “I tried out writing for The Daily Mississippian during freshman year, but yearbook is where my heart was so I decided to stick with it.”

Harden has not only the yearbook on her slate this year, but also serves the university campus as an orientation coordinator, a member of the Columns Society, and vice president of her sorority.

She has worked hard to hire a staff of editors, photographers, designers and writers while finding new ways to complete tasks, documenting this unusual school year.

“I was definitely expecting to be physically present in the SMC, working alongside my staff of editors, a lot more than I am, but luckily in this digital age, we’ve been able to stay on the same page as we work toward the finished book,” Harden said.

Atish Baidya, editorial director at the SMC, works with Harden.

“Asia’s dedication and enthusiasm toward this year’s The Ole Miss and her ability to handle all the uncertainty of the year so far speaks to her leadership and maturity,” Baidya said.

Many meetings for the yearbook staff have to take place through Zoom or over the phone, but that isn’t dampening Harden’s spirit or her plans to create a memorable book and experience for her staff. After graduation in May 2021, Harden wants to pursue graduate school, focusing on publishing.

“Book publishing is really my dream industry,” Harden said. “I’ve been obsessed with all things books, reading and writing since I was a kid, so I’d love to work in editorial or publicity for that.”

Distribution for the 2020 yearbooks was abruptly postponed spring semester. They arrived on campus in July, and Harden, a writer for the yearbook last year, helped the SMC staff this semester as they arranged for students to pick up their annuals or have them mailed. She hopes the 2021 The Ole Miss will have a normal distribution at the Student Union or Pavilion at the end of spring semester.

“My yearbook memories always revolve around distribution,” Harden said. “This year was a little different than usual but the feeling of holding a finished copy of the yearbook in your hand for the first time, and then sharing that joy with others, is second to none.”

 

Eliza Noe

Eliza Noe

ELIZA NOE – The Daily Mississippian Editor-in-Chief

Eliza Noe was impressed when a student editor from The Daily Mississippian spoke to her Honors 101 class.

“I was a little nervous to put myself out there, so my friend and I joined the staff together,” Noe said.

A native of Amory, Mississippi, Noe is a senior Honors College student majoring in journalism and minoring in art history. Noe started at the DM as an Arts and Culture writer her freshman year before moving up the ladder to become Managing Editor last year and this year’s Editor-in-Chief.

“I think it’s so beneficial to have served in all of these roles, so now I feel like I know each level’s perspectives and expectations,” Noe said. “It’s been a blast, and honestly, it’s flown by.”

While the late nights at the SMC with the other editors will be missed because of pandemic restrictions, Noe said the decision to produce only one print edition each week this semester has allowed the staff to expand its “Digital First” mentality by exploring and focusing on the growth of the online and social media community.

“Even though the pandemic was not what we were expecting, it’s given us an opportunity to meet where most of our audience is: online,” Noe said. “We are focusing on in-depth stories, an impactful front page and the growth of our online presence.”

SMC editorial director Atish Baidya noted: “Now more than ever, the work by Eliza and her staff at The Daily Mississippian is crucial to keeping the campus community informed. Eliza’s calm and strong leadership has been vital during these unprecedented times.”

Outside of working on The Daily Mississippian, Noe enjoys being around friends and family, even though that’s been more difficult because of the pandemic. She’s also involved with her sorority and the LuckyDay Scholarship program.

One of Noe’s favorite things about working at the SMC is the strong bond she’s made with the people she’s worked with, including the staff, faculty and student colleagues. She hopes to encourage younger staff members to grow as journalists, and that the work they do leads to growth at the university.

“Growth is the major goal I’m heading toward,” Noe said.

For those who might at first be nervous to join the SMC like Noe was, she said that students should push themselves to do it no matter what.

Noe’s advice: “Just do it. Send that email, send that social media DM, whatever. You’re always welcome somewhere, no matter your major or interest. It does seem a little intimidating, especially if you were like me with relatively no journalism experience, but the editors at the SMC love molding and shaping new storytellers to take over after we’re gone.”

Noe’s future plans are to find a job in reporting or attend graduate school. Her dream job would be to work at a publication like Rolling Stone.

 

Conner Platt

Conner Platt

CONNER PLATT – Advertising Sales Manager

The sales team of the Student Media Center works hard, building advertising revenue for the SMC platforms. This year, sophomore Conner Platt is leading the team.

Platt is a double major in risk management & insurance and finance from Biloxi, Mississippi. He found his way to the SMC following in the footsteps of his older brother, who worked on the student sales staff eight years ago and is now a marine insurance broker in New Orleans.

Platt started the year by working with his adviser to teach his team marketing and sales techniques.

“I really learned the ins and outs of advertising in my first year and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be manager this year,” Platt said.  “I was hoping to be able to come back to school and have a normal sophomore year but unfortunately that hasn’t been able to happen. It has been very strange but I have been able to figure out everything online and am trying to make the most of this semester.”

Besides being a member of a fraternity, Platt focuses his time on his double major as well as the advertising team.

“Conner has really stepped up for us,” said Roy Frostenson, SMC assistant director for advertising. “He’s done a great job trying to drive sales and keep the sales team motivated in what’s been a tough business climate.  Conner has a lot of enthusiasm and is very organized and task oriented which is exactly what you want in a sales manager – he’s driven to be successful.”

Platt said that when he looks back on 2020-21, he wants to be able to see that he and his staff hit their sales goals. “Especially with the current circumstances, that is something I would be very proud to say,” he said.

Platt’s long-term career plans? “I hope to get into insurance immediately out of college and hope to one day open up my own marine insurance firm.”

By Lucy Burnam and MacKenzie Ross, School of Journalism and New Media graduate students and SMC alumni

Welcome Back Virtually – From the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: September 8th, 2020 by ldrucker

Some of you know how we look in person. But what about our virtual personas?

With avatars and Bitmojis, we thought we’d re-introduce ourselves to students and welcome them back to our online, hybrid and in-person classes.

Click the photo below to see our Welcome Back Virtually page and video featuring your favorite University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media professors.

UM School of Journalism and New Media adds new Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization this fall

Posted on: June 28th, 2020 by ldrucker

Have you ever dreamed of working in the fashion industry or owning your own fashion business? You can get your start at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media with the new Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization by taking only three classes.

The specialization was the idea of Assistant Professor Scott Fiene and Instructional Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications Mike Tonos.

It requires a nine-hour set of courses that introduces students to the world of fashion merchandising and promotion. Classes cover topics, such as trends, communications, budgeting, forecasting, buying and merchandising.

“The specialization is the result of student demand and interest,” Tonos said. “We added it because students wanted it, and we were looking for electives to make the IMC program more interesting and diverse.”

In late 2017 and early 2018, Tonos and Fiene were discussing possible electives when Fiene mentioned several students had expressed interest in fashion courses.

“I followed up with a student survey and got positive responses from 28 students, most of whom attended a March 28 meeting to discuss their ideas for such a program,” Tonos said. “Joe Sherman, a former executive at McRae’s department store, joined us as an adjunct and taught the first fashion merchandising course in spring 2018.

“We followed that with the Fashion Promotion and Media course. With those two courses in place, we were able to approve the specialization, which takes effect in fall 2020.”

fashion specialization

fashion specialization

The required classes include the following:

IMC 309 – Fashion Promotion and Media – This course introduces students to the communication, promotion, media, and branding of fashion in domestic and international markets.

IMC 376 – Commercial Photography – This class focuses on using the storytelling elements of photojournalism to create images that connect with specific audiences. Students will practice what it takes to create strong storytelling images that are both candid and contrived and create campaigns with those images. Students will use photo-editing software to produce images and campaign materials.

JOUR 361: Journalism Explorations I – New York City Internship Experience. This course focuses on covering emerging issues or specialized content related to the broad fields of journalism and new media.

Or students may take a pre-approved three-credit fashion-themed course or a pre-approved three-credit fashion-themed internship instead of JOUR 361.

“We hope students become knowledgeable enough about the fashion industry that they can find a good job in the field or can start their own fashioned-related enterprise,” Tonos said.

Among the job possibilities: buyers, department managers; store managers (boutiques); merchandisers for manufacturing companies; integrated marketing communication for a fashion company; fashion blogger; fashion writing and media.

Fiene said the Fashion Promotion and Media Specialization was driven by demand from students who were asking if we offered any fashion courses.

“We piloted a special topics course on it and offered that a few times,” he said. “It was wildly successful, and so we packaged that course into a nine-credit optional specialization that’s available to both IMC and journalism majors.

Dean Debora Wenger

Dean Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“It joins seven other specializations we already had, and is one more example of how we’re allowing students to customize their majors based on interest. We think this will be one of the more popular specializations in our school.

Dean Debora Wenger, Ph.D., said the specialization is important to the school because of the growing interest in fashion industry careers.

“Last year a group of about 50 of our students got together to produce our school’s first online fashion magazine,” she said. “They did it outside of the classroom experience on their own time because of their passion for fashion.

“Now, UM Velvet is adding even more students to the project for the fall. When you have this much grassroots enthusiasm for a subject, you know you need to do more to help students learn as much as they can.”

UM associate professor featured in election documentary presented June 25 in Oxford

Posted on: June 22nd, 2020 by ldrucker

A University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media faculty member is featured in the election documentary “Win, Lose or Draw Straws” that will be presented Thursday, June 25 in Oxford.

Associate Professor Charlie Mitchell provides insight about the Eaton/Tullos race with other journalists and legal scholars weighing in about other races. The film will be presented at 8 p.m. by the League of Women Voters Oxford/North Mississippi during the Oxford Film Festival’s Drive In Series at the OFF Drive In movie site in the Cannon Motor parking lot.

Documentary

Documentary

Election ties happen far more frequently than the public may think. But the absence of a single deciding vote can have far reaching implications. Such is the powerful message in the film “Win, Lose, or Draw Straws.”

This is a rare political film that brings together Left and Right by exposing a little known oddity in U.S. electoral politics – the existence and resolution of races that end in exact ties. Told by people who experienced the highs and lows of political campaigns determined by games of chance, this film exposes the way luck often determines the winner.

The film was produced by Casey W. Phillips, a former political strategist, who worked on Delbert Hosemann’s 2007 race for Mississippi secretary of state. Highlighted in this nationwide story is the tie of the 2015 Mississippi House of Representatives race between Bo Eaton and Mark Tullos.

Drawing of straws is the Mississippi law to break ties, but come view the film to learn how the loser was seated.

Tickets may be purchased at this link. Discount tickets are available for League of Women Voters members.

For more information about the film, the Oxford Film Festival can be reached at boxoffice@oxfordfilmfest.com.

New Media Leadership Certification introduced at UM School of Journalism and New Media

Posted on: June 14th, 2020 by ldrucker

Media leaders have traditionally learned on the job through trial and error. Early mistakes sometimes derail careers. Others never fully develop. The most successful leaders usually benefit from informal mentorships.

That’s why the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media is introducing a new Media Leadership Certification designed to give mid-career leaders a solid foundation for developing a successful leadership style.

Hank Price, director of leadership and development at the School of Journalism, has had a 30-year career as a television general manager, leading television stations for Hearst, CBS and Gannett. He will lead the Media Leadership Certification program.

“Leadership theory, practical application and a framework of introspection will provide the opportunity for individualized development of leadership skills,” Price said. “Skillsets will be enriched by a number of classes already taught in the IMC graduate program.”

Price is a frequent speaker to television industry groups about the future of media. He spent 15 years as senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center, teaching in both the domestic and international executive education programs. He is the author of Leading Local Television (BPP, 2018) and co-author of Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First (Sage, 2015) a management textbook.

At the end of 2018, Price retired from Hearst and opened a boutique media-consulting firm. In addition to his consulting work and writing, he is recognized for his presentations on leadership and brand strategy, subjects he believes are foundational to the success of any modern business.

Price said the Media Leadership Certification is designed for mid-career professionals who aim to someday run media companies. Candidates will ideally have some level of management experience.

“This will be a unique program nationally, designed to fill an educational void in media leadership,” he said. “Our aim is for this program to become an essential tool and credential for future media leaders across the country.”

Annette S. Kluck, Ph.D., dean of the UM Graduate School and a professor of leadership and counselor education, said there are many reasons individuals obtain graduate certificates. They allow individuals to continue their education learning a defined set of skills or developing a targeted area of expertise.

“In many cases, certificates are designed for individuals who are already working and have great real-world experience that they bring to the courses,” she said. “This enables those earning the certificates to learn how the material and ideas directly apply to their work and how other professional environments implement ideas and practices that they learn about in the courses.”

Kluck said certificates are carefully designed to provide maximal impact. Courses included in certificate programs are selected to be cohesive and complementary to help students quickly gain expertise in a particular area.

“Certificates are also time-limited so students can often complete them in one year,” she said. “This allows students to quickly build their resume. And, having a certificate on one’s resume (or CV) shows current and prospective employers that an individual has developed advanced expertise in a particular area and engages in continuous professional development.”

Annette S. Kluck

Annette S. Kluck

Kluck said both the added expertise from the certificate and the demonstration that one is invested in learning and professional growth are appealing to hiring supervisors. The certificate shows that one can be successful in growing themselves as a professional.

“Certificates have become quite popular in the last few years,” she said. “Part of the reason is the ability to complete the certificate in about a year. The shorter commitment of a graduate certificate often fits well with the realities of working professionals who may not only have a full-time job, but may have family obligations and other commitments.”

The certificates also allow individuals to “test the waters” of graduate study, she said, which is quite different from undergraduate learning experiences. Courses are much more narrowly focused on gaining the expertise needed in your discipline.

Kluck said many individuals who start with a graduate certificate decide to go on and complete a master’s degree. In many cases, the courses completed to earn the graduate certificate may also be part of the curriculum for a master’s degree within the same discipline.

“When there is substantial overlap, and the courses are taught by the same institution and faculty that teach in a master’s program, credit hours completed in pursuit of the graduate certificate might also count towards the master’s degree,” she said. “For a master’s degree program that is 30 credit hours, the graduate certificate might mean that someone only needs 18 additional credit hours to earn a master’s degree.”

Kluck said she believes colleges and universities offer graduate certificates because they know there are adults who are seeking additional training and education in areas related to their work responsibilities or career goals.

“Certificates allow us to expand access to graduate study for busy working adults,” she said. “They are a way to ensure that working professionals can gain knowledge and skills needed for their career success while engaging with faculty experts. At the University of Mississippi, providing access to education for adults is a foundational value. We want people to be able to pursue their educational goals and to help set them up for success.”

Dean Debora Wenger

Dean Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

UM School of Journalism and New Media Dean Debora Wenger said the school decided to add the Media Leadership Certification to its curriculum because there is a real need for leadership education for those in media organizations.

“As in many fields, you often get promoted into a position of leadership because you are very good in other roles, but you may not ever receive training in how to effectively lead teams and people,” she said. “This certificate is designed with that person in mind.”

Many colleges and universities are now offering certificates. Wenger said they are a great way to try out the School of Journalism and New Media.

“Our Media Leadership Certification is designed in such a way that, if you do well, you can apply the credits you’ve earned to a Master’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication degree, and you’ll already be a third of the way through the program,” she said.

Wenger said she hopes the school will offer more certifications in the future.

“We have rich expertise in many areas that would be of value to those in the media world, so I hope we will begin to develop more,” she said.

For more information, contact the school at jour-imc@olemiss.edu.

UM School of Journalism and New Media to offer updated curriculum with new courses this fall

Posted on: June 9th, 2020 by ldrucker

St. Louis native Brittany Kohne, 18, will be a freshman at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media this fall. The Oakville High School graduate is also one of our prestigious Talbert Fellows and a future journalism student.

Kohne said she was attracted to UM’s innovative journalism program, which school leaders recently updated after much research, planning and many in-depth discussions about how to best serve students beyond 2020.

“I am looking at the Political and Social Justice reporting emphasis for my major,” she said. “I am hoping to learn how to cover such topics with the utmost integrity and truth … I think that it is great that Ole Miss is taking a new approach and action to mass media and journalism as a whole.”

Brittany Kohne

Brittany Kohne

Dean Debora Wenger said, beginning this fall, the school’s new journalism curriculum will better position students for future jobs. The biggest changes revolve around four new emphases: Video & TV Storytelling, Multimedia Journalism, Visual Journalism and Political and Social Justice Reporting.

“We know our students have a high interest in video and photo, writing, design, social media and specialty journalism,” Wenger said. “These new emphases give them the opportunity to go deep in an area that they love, while still getting the foundation in journalistic principles that they need.”

Things change rapidly in the media world, and Wenger said the curriculum updates were necessary to remain modern.

“Though our school has been offering relevant journalism instruction for many, many years, that wasn’t always apparent from our course descriptions and emphasis options,” she said. “We know that the audience is consuming more and more news and information on digital platforms and through video, social media and interactive design — now our curriculum more accurately reflects what we’re teaching.”

Wenger said new courses include J270: Digital Story Production, which will immerse students as sophomores into the tools and concepts they need to tell stories across media platforms. Another new course for freshmen is called Visual Principles — helping students understand what it takes to capture a great photo or visualize important information in a graphic.

Debora Wenger. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“And those are just two of the new hands-on, experiential classes we have developed for our existing and new students,” she said.

Digital Story Production gives students hands-on instruction about how to use digital media tools to produce interactive stories.

Iveta Imre, an assistant professor of journalism who teaches the course, said students will learn key concepts in audio, video, infographics, images, and other digital technologies. They will learn how to capture engaging audio, photos and video to create effective multimedia stories.

“I think this course is important for the new curriculum because it gives an opportunity to all of our journalism majors, regardless of the emphasis, to learn the basics in multimedia storytelling,” Imre said. “Until now, we had a huge discrepancy between our broadcasting and print majors in terms of skills, and this class is designed to remedy that.”

Imre said this is a new course entirely, and it is envisioned as a culmination of all the core classes all journalism students must take.

Iveta Imre

Iveta Imre

“Once they complete this class, the idea is that they would be ready to take the classes within their emphasis, and further develop the skills they learned in the digital story production class,” she said.

Professor Mark Dolan will be teaching Visual Media Principles. Students arrive in the course as novice designers.

“So a first goal is to help them apply what their eyes see, what the brain registers and the heart feels,” he said. “Everyone’s a designer, to some extent. Design begins with the outfit you picked this morning, the sofa you bought and how it fits with the other furniture. Design is in the shape of your water bottle, the logo on your ball cap, the menu you order from.”

This course is about understanding what design means, how it gets communicated, and why, said Dolan, who begins with core principles, such as how items relate to other items on a page or in a photo, or within a video frame or animated space. The class will discuss how elements balance, what is bigger and smaller in the frame, and why such things matter.

“Students this fall explore how these principles function within typography, page design, photography, video, even animation,” said Dolan, who thinks the best part of the class is learning to tell stories through design. This is what happens when the still image meets the type font, when the video sequence interacts with a block of text, he said.

“Sometimes richness and meaning can emerge from one photo, one type font, a video sequence,” he said, “but more often it’s the uniting of these that sparks the biggest impact. To design is like being a stage manager, a selector and coordinator, and telling stories through design is to use your brain, eyes and heart.

“More and more students are asked to design, whether for their class presentation, a professional web site, or their own business card. Not only do students come away with these core skills, they also take the next step in using design to do reporting.”

Oxford native Dalton Whitehead, 18, is also an incoming freshman and Talbert Fellow. The Oxford High School graduate said he has been researching new class additions.

“I absolutely want to develop even better camera skills than I already have and get some job experience in my field,” he said. “I would very much so like to gain more experience with interviewing. I’ve always been a camera man mostly, knowing all the ins and outs of them and all technology, and I am a good interviewer, but I still have a lot to improve on with interviewing.”

Kohne said she toured many schools in Missouri, but none seemed like a perfect fit until she visited UM.

“Once I walked on campus, I knew that it was the school that I saw my future at,” she said. “I chose broadcast journalism because I believe that every person should have the opportunity to share their story with the world, and show others a new perspective on life.

“I loved how Ole Miss had a lot of job opportunities when students graduated, as well as their approach in media as a whole. The journalism department is very forward thinking, which is very important for news media.”

Assistant Dean Scott Fiene said the school plans to update the IMC, or integrated marketing communication, curriculum next.

“The IMC program will be 10 years old in 2021, and while there have been continual tweaks and revisions to the curriculum since that time, the faculty is currently investigating larger changes that may be needed to keep up with the demands of the profession,” he said. “It is anticipated these changes would be implemented starting in fall 2021.”

For more information about the new journalism curriculum, email Wenger.

Attend our Virtual Open House to learn about graduate school Thursday, June 25

Posted on: June 7th, 2020 by ldrucker

If you have ever thought about attending graduate school and earning your master’s degree, this may be the time.

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media will be offering a Virtual Open House this month to provide information about how to become a graduate student in our journalism and IMC programs.

You are invited to be part of the Zoom online event Thursday, June 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Zoom gathering will feature professors who will answer questions about the program.

Zoom

Zoom

“The landscape is a bit different now with the coronavirus, and people have questions,” said professor Joe Atkins, who leads the journalism master’s program. “For example, we’ve lifted the GRE requirement for now and extended the application deadline to the end of July. We thought a Virtual Open House would be a good opportunity for people to check in and get answers to questions they might have about our programs.”

The professional masters track in journalism offers courses in multimedia storytelling, documentary-making and long-form narrative writing that allow journalists to hone their craft to the highest level as they create lasting works of nonfiction, whether in print, online or on a screen. Students in the academic track can do this while also taking courses specifically designed to develop their research and theoretical skills, preparing them for a future in teaching as well as practicing journalism. Contact Professor Joe Atkins at jbatkins@olemiss.edu.

The M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication is a tightly-focused professional master’s degree in which you can learn to create and manage coordinated communications that connect people and organizations. The curriculum blends theory, insight, and real-world application with a focus on the strategic integration of fields, such as advertising, public relations, brand strategy, digital media, direct mail, content marketing, and research. To explore the residential and online degrees, please visit our program website or contact Dr. Robert Magee at rgmagee@olemiss.edu.

Why is now a good time to think about going to graduate school?

“I can already see there is a lot of interest in graduate studies now,” Atkins said. “The coronavirus has created uncertainty about our economy and what the world will look like once the pandemic passes.

“It’s a time for many to turn this into an opportunity to deepen their studies and training and further equip themselves for the future. We’re already going to have the largest journalism graduate cohort for the fall 2020 semester that I’ve seen since I’ve been director of the program.”

To learn more about the two programs and their required classes, visit this page.

To participate in the Zoom event, register by emailing Atkins at jbatkins@olemiss.edu. He can provide a link to the Virtual Open House that you can click to join.

You may also email these professors to ask any questions about our programs.