skip to main content

School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Welcome Back Virtually

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.

Challenging situations present new opportunities for us to grow and learn. The School of Journalism and New Media’s professors have been working all summer to create a variety of journalism and integrated marketing communications courses in different formats.

Below, you’ll see our “virtual classroom” and “welcome back” messages from some of our professors.

Whether they are delivered via Zoom, in the classroom, or under the sky in nature, we’re bringing creativity and connectivity to the classroom.

Above, you’ll see virtual versions of many of our faculty and staff. Can you identify who they are?


We’re glad to have you back on campus or live via an internet connection, and we want to make this a memorable semester for you.

If you need any help or guidance this semester, do not hesitate to reach out to your professors, who are excited about beginning the new school year with you.

And remember, for your own safety and the safety of others and extended family members, please follow the university’s guidelines about COVID-19. Be smart. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Be safe and thoughtful of others. 

And click this link to check out our Bitmoji video featuring some of your favorite professors.


These are extraordinary times filled with challenges. Because we are in the middle of a global epidemic, this semester will not be anything like another semester. Monitor your health, keep up with your learning, and keep in touch with your professors so we can help you have a great semester. We can do this together. Also follow this suggestion from William Faulkner: “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

Kathleen Wickham
Professor of Journalism

As a health communication professor and researcher, I have learned that our subconscious perceptions of a threat drive our responses to it. We factor in peer pressure, our social environment, and perceptions of severity, barriers and susceptibility before we decide whether to practice the recommended precautions all the time. The time has come for us to take a deep breath and think about what we really want and value most this semester. What challenges can I help with? We could brainstorm solutions. What can we accomplish together safely? Let’s all work as a team every day, to help protect our community. We all know the drill: Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, socially distance, and mask up. Are you ready? Ready to learn, ready to stay safe!

Associate Professor of Journalism

"Welcome back ... just keep in mind that this too shall pass."

Samir Husni, Ph.D.
Director, Magazine Innovation Center,
Professor and Hederman Lecturer

Fall is my favorite time of year: an opportunity for meeting new people, building new relationships, establishing lifelong connections. As an educator, I chose the university setting because it affords me the opportunity to be a student for the rest of my life, and what better teacher than other people! As you navigate this fall, with all its uncertainty and new policies and ways of being a student, I encourage you to find someone outside of your ‘in group’ – someone who comes from a different place than you, who thinks differently than you – and befriend them (at a safe distance and with a mask of course!) Your college experience will only be as good as your effort in seeking out new people and new perspectives, new experiences and new ways of thinking. A lifetime of learning starts with your willingness to #ListenFirst.


Welcome back. My, how we’ve all changed since March! We are all so excited to be back in class at Ole Miss. You’ve done a phenomenal job of getting us to this point, and you should be congratulated for that. I know there are other things that you want to do this semester…football, basketball, the Square.  Just remember to do it safely:  social distance and #MaskUp!

Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

"Welcome back! I know this isn't what you planned or how you wanted things to be, but I genuinely believe that we are not put in situations like this that we cannot overcome. Be grateful that we can live-stream classes so that we can keep your journey moving forward. Keep you head up and stay positive. You are not alone."

Instructional Assistant Professor
of Branding and Promotions

Welcome back to the fall 2020 semester! As with all new experiences, sometimes we feel uncertain and scared, as well as excited and anxious. I know I do! I hope this fall brings new perspectives and growth to all of us, but especially to you, as students. Stay vigilant about your health and well-being, and be compassionate of others who are navigating their own journey through this life. Let’s do this!

Instructional Assistant Professor of Media Design

There’s something about starting a new school year that seems electrifying. It’s like you’re moving one step closer to all of the exciting possibilities of your future. Education is one way to take the steps to get there. Hopefully, in the future, we won’t be dealing with a global pandemic, but it’s wise to think positively about challenging situations. Perhaps we’ve been given this time so that we can learn to focus on the things that really matter. I am excited about the classes I will be teaching this semester, and I hope students will be too as we write stories that examine our current times, exploring our collective experience.

LaReeca Rucker
Journalism Instructor