Students enrolled in Jour 513: Press and the South spent the afternoon at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, and Beale Street, which was the center of the African-American community. Students are focusing their research on Freedom Summer. Front Row: Susan Shetley, Kayla Vise, Kristin Jackson, Dr. Kathleen Wickham. Back Row: Addison Moreno, Nick Eley, Nicholas Winkler,Hill Ray, Ethan Booker.
University of Mississippi students won five first-place awards and 11 finalist awards in the 2013 Region 12 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence contest. The awards ceremony was Saturday, April 12, at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
First-place honors went to the staff of Land of Plenty, the depth report produced in spring 2013, for Best Student Magazine; Phillip Waller, for Non-Fiction Magazine Article, for an article in Land of Plenty; Thomas Graning, for Breaking News Photography for a photograph in The Daily Mississippian; Katie Williamson, for General News Photography for a photograph on theDMonline.com; and Jonece Dunigan, for general news reporting for an article from her internship in Quincy, Ill. All our students compete in categories for large universities with enrollments over 10,000. First-place regional winners automatically advance into competition for national SPJ awards. Last year, UM had one national winner and two national finalists.
Finalist certificates were awarded to The Daily Mississippian, Adam Ganucheau, Phil McCausland, Ian Cleary, Katie Williamson, Ignacio Murillo, Thomas Graning, David Collier, Tim Abram, Sid Williams and Anna Ellingburg. SPJ Region 12 includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Representing the School at the SPJ regional conference were Lacey Russell, DM Editor in Chief for 2014-2015; Phillip Waller, yearbook editor in chief for 2014-2015; Thomas Graning, DM multimedia editor for 2014-2015; and Director of Student Media Patricia Thompson. SPJ workshop panelists and speakers included journalists from National Geographic, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.
Last week, at its 68th annual convention, the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association awarded its annual “Best in Mississippi” high school journalism awards. Over 650 students and teachers attended the convention.
Students from 39 schools across the state competed for recognition in 163 different categories involving school newspapers, web sites, yearbooks, broadcasts and literary magazines. These awards focused mainly on submitted work from throughout the school year, but also included carry-in and on-site competitions that were judged on the day of the convention.
“This was an incredibly strong year for journalism in this state,” MSPA director R.J. Morgan said. “As Common Core shifts curriculum back toward critical thinking, we’re seeing more schools invest in developing strong journalism programs. It’s the ultimate example of project-based learning.”
Tupelo High School’s student newspaper, The Hi-Times, and St. Joseph’s Catholic School’s paper, The Bear Facts, were each named Best in Mississippi in 4A-6A and 1A-3A, respectively.
Tupelo’s WTHS broadcast news program was also the Best in Mississippi winner for broadcast.
The Chatterbook, the yearbook at Ocean Springs High School (4A-6A), and Sanctus, the yearbook at St. Andrews Episcopal School (1A-3A), were each named Best in Mississippi, as well.
Jackson Preparatory School’s “Earthwinds” was named Best in Mississippi for the literary magazine division.
Oxford High School senior Marissa Morrissette was named Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year and was presented with a $250 check from the Mississippi Press Association. Her portfolio moves on to the national competition, where she will compete for $5,000 in scholarship money later this month.
MSPA also announced Jack Hall as the winner of the inaugural Orley Hood Sports Writer of the Year award, sponsored by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. MSHOF executive director Rick Cleveland was on hand to make the announcement, and Hall will be presented with a plaque later this spring at the MSHOF Pop Stars banquet in Jackson. Hood was a longtime Jackson, Miss., sportswriter and columnist who died in February after a long bout with cancer.
Terry Cassreino of St. Joseph’s Catholic School was named this year’s JoAnne Sellers Newspaper Adviser of the Year (sponsored by Mississippi Professional Educators). White Station’s Sudeshna Barman was Newspaper Editor of the Year and Tupelo’s Katherine Grace was Newspaper Staff Member of the Year.
Lafayette County High School’s Loidha Bautista was named this year’s Caroline Fair Yearbook Adviser of the Year (sponsored by Herff Jones). Maddie Klepzig, also from Lafayette, took home Yearbook Staff Member of the Year honors, while co-editors Bailey McCain and Aubrey Sanders of Oak Grove High School were named Yearbook Editors of the Year.
Starkville High School won a trio of top honors. First-year adviser Angela Hobart was named Adviser of the Year for Broadcast, while student Preston Booth was named Broadcast Staff Member of the Year. SHS assistant principal Dr. Michael Ray was selected as MSPA’s Administrator of the Year.
Rounding out the broadcast division was Oxford’s Drew Baker, who was selected as Editor of the Year.
View the full list of winners on the MSPA website.
(From left) Curtis Wilkie, Overby Center fellow; Roy Berry, a civil rights activist from Holly Springs during Freedom Summer; Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; and Charles K. Ross, director of African-American studies and associate professor of history, discuss the lingering impact of “Freedom Summer” 50 years later at the Overby Center.
By Natalie Wood and Wiley Anderson
Once an aspiring editorial cartoonist and now ESPN Senior Vice President, Rob King, encouraged journalism students to think of their career path as a “journey” during his speech today in Farley Hall at Ole Miss New Media Day.
“Now, when I have this chance to come back and tell people ‘it’s gonna be cool,’ I do it every chance I can because I know when I go into a room that’s the one thing I know people are worried about,” King said. “And the ability to do that and give back, it’s like a gift.”
Senior Staff Writer for espn.com and ESPN the Magazine, Wright Thompson, introduced King as a dear friend, a great father and the creative mind the company needs to keep ESPN moving forward on all platforms.
“Nobody knows what the future of media is going to look like,” Thompson said. “But I feel like he might have as good of an idea as anyone.”
King began his speech by referencing recent, controversial events that have taken place on the Ole Miss campus as “mere pin pricks” in the grand scheme of things. He also reminded students that they are a central part of a very important American narrative and that these events provide a chance for them to change the world around them.
One point that King reiterated was for students to use journalism as a service opportunity in their future careers. He motivated listeners to gain as much knowledge about the business as possible and to focus on satisfying their audiences in the future.
Although King is remarkably successful now, he laughed while recalling the years that followed his graduation from college, which he referred to as “the awful in-between.” He went on to tell a comical anecdote about his first job in Danville, Ill. with the Commercial-News. After accidentally building the NCCA Basketball Tournament bracket wrong, as a graphic designer, the paper literally had to stop the presses to correct his mistake.
“And now I run SportsCenter,” King chuckled. “Use these first few years as a learning opportunity and ‘mentally unpack.’ Just because you don’t have your dream job right now, doesn’t mean that you can’t get it tomorrow. It’s going to work out, you just don’t know how yet.”
He closed by advising students to allow themselves to act their age and to look out the window and enjoy what they’re seeing along the route. King explained that ESPN gives its employees the permission “to wonder,” and that everyone in the room should do the same in order to grow a little more each day.
“Many of you are in that career chase,” King said. “Stop thinking about it like a career and start thinking about it like a journey because that will give you the chance to act your age. And you want to know something? ESPN is every bit as cool as you think it is.”
By John Monteith
Alex May-Sealey’s success has come as no surprise to her former Meek School professors and advisers.
May-Sealey worked as an Advance Associate, coordinating events for President Obama, First Lady Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, before being hired by the White House Visitors Office. May-Sealey’s path to the White House was set by a series of helpful jobs and internships that gave her experience to work in the world’s most powerful office.
“Alex possesses the magic combination of three factors needed to succeed in PR: excellent writing skills, organizational ability, and creativity” said Meek School lecturer Robin Street, who May-Sealy describes as her mentor. “Few people have all three of those factors. To this day, I recall how amazed I was at the color coded system she put together for her class notes.”
“As a student, I learned to be independent,” May-Sealey said. “I benefited from the professional academic staff that opened my mind to broader ways of thinking and approaching problems.”
May-Sealey’s journey began the summer before her junior year when she was an intern for a U.S. Senator.
The next summer she secured an internship at the Federal District Courthouse, which May-Sealey says solidified her career path. In her final year of school, she was selected for the White House Internship Program, serving in the Department of Scheduling and Advance.
After performing well in her internship, she was offered a position that was more long-term. She was offered a job as an Advance Associate.
Many current Meek School students are searching for jobs and internships. May-Sealey advises them to network and seek professional mentors in your field of interest.
“Mentors can support you, provide guidance and introduce you to people you need to know” May-Sealey said. “Make sure you always have a professional and up-to-date resume that you could email or provide on a moment’s notice.”
May-Sealey recognizes all that she learned while a student at the Meek School of Journalism at The University of Mississippi.
“The University of Mississippi taught me how to balance my personal and professional life.” May-Sealey said.
“At the University, I met many amazing and talented people with whom I developed special bonds that continue through today.”
Adam Ganucheau, editor in chief of The Daily Mississippian, received VIP treatment on a trip to New York during spring break. New York Times senior editor Greg Brock, who was managing editor of The Daily Mississippian in the 1970s and received the Silver Em Award in 2012, invited Ganucheau to tour the Times and sit in on its daily news meeting. Ganucheau was in New York to attend the College Media Association annual conference with Student Media Director Pat Thompson. Thompson moderated a panel about covering racial and sexual orientation issues on campus. Panelists were Ganucheau and Mazie Bryant, editor in chief of The Crimson White at the University of Alabama. They talked about campus controversies that went viral this past year. Ganucheau broke stories in the DM and on theDMonline.com about homophobic slurs at a campus play and the desecration of the James Meredith statue. Bryant discussed her paper’s coverage of sorority segregation and the reaction to an editorial cartoon that offended many people. All three talked about lessons learned and gave advice to students and advisers about how to plan for, and handle, coverage of sensitive issues.
James Prince, president of the Mississippi Press Association and an alumnus of the Meek School, with Jonece Dunigan at the National Press Club during her week as a fellow of the National Newspaper Association Foundation. Dunigan’s participation was underwritten by the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation.
The National Newspaper Association Foundation inaugurated the News Fellow program during NNA’s We Believe in Newspapers Summit. The purpose of the program is to develop news literacy skills in young journalists, looking at issues from a community newspaper perspective.
Fellows tackled one national issue with implications in America’s hometowns. During the two-and-a-half day program in Washington, they studied with veteran community newspaper journalists to research an issue, interview key players, work with their mentors to distinguish facts from spin and opinion (recognizing that opinion has a key role in shaping public policy), and produce a news or interpretive story for publication in hometown media.
More than 90 percent of journalism and mass communications grads reported getting at least one in-person job interview soon after graduation. Yet, a little less than 74 percent ended up getting a full or part-time job. So, what went wrong?
News anchor and reporter Byron Brown from WJTV in Jackson, Miss. says there are a number of mistakes interviewees make.
“If you do get the interview, dress for success,” says Brown. “As my father said, from your hairline to the shoe shine, make sure you are dressed for the interview.”
Brown, who was at Ole Miss for the annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day, says he’s also amazed at how many people forget that the interview continues outside the news director’s office.
“When you’re out in the newsroom just kind of milling around, that’s the second part of the process,” Brown says. Though you might think the tough part is over, Brown maintains that what the rest of the staff says about you after you’ve let your hair down can affect whether or not you get hired. He also urges preparation for the position.
“Know something about the company; know something about the managers you’ll be talking to,” says Brown. He also suggests it’s very important to come in able to articulate your goals and to show you’ve learned something about the community where you’ll be reporting.
The job hunt for thousands of May grads is officially on — be sure you’re one of the success stories!
Story contributed by Deb Wenger, Dir. of Undergraduate Journalism at the Meek School.
Every camera is placed with precision, every graphic discussed in detail and every shot is studied before CBS Sports puts a game on the air. For a group of Ole Miss journalism students who went behind the scenes of the Rebels-Gators basketball game, this was an eye-opener.
“To be honest, I had no idea. That’s the whole reason I wanted to do this whole thing. I always wondered where they go, talking about going from camera to camera,” Ole Miss senior Pete Porter said.
CBS Sports Director Mark Grant gave the students a tour of the production trailers, where he and his staff work up to 16 hours to prepare before the game. The group also went inside the Tad Smith Coliseum to see exactly where Grant and his crew strategically place all the cameras they utilize during the game.
According to Grant, he works in unison with 35-40 people for college basketball games, but the staff could increase depending on the magnitude of the game. To make it all work, each person inside the production trailers and arena have to communicate effectively with Grant to correctly time what people see on television.
“I’m Mark’s right-hand man, whatever Mark wants to see, visuals or full-screen graphics I put that up,” technical producer David Saretsky said.
Grant says he tries to direct the game to his own satisfaction and take into account what his bosses in New York would like to see.
“The most stressful part of my job is the pressure, the pressure of network television, millions and millions of people are watching,” Grant said. “The expectations are high with our bosses…there is zero tolerance for mistakes.”
Several of the students volunteered their time on Saturday morning to act as runners for Grant and his staff. They also got a chance to watch the live production of the Ole Miss-Florida game. For senior Ashleigh Culpepper, the opportunity now has her thinking about additional career options.
“Because of the behind the scenes experience I could honestly see myself behind the camera now as opposed to in front of it.”
In honor of the anniversary, the chapter has begun a campaign entitled “50 for 50.”
“We want to recruit 50 members in honor of the 50 years of SPJ getting on this campus,” chapter president Bracey Harris said.
Harris says this particular anniversary says a lot about the chapter’s standing.
“It shows to me that people have a reason to join SPJ. If it’s been a part of this campus for 50 years. You can’t say that about a lot of organizations on this campus, so I think that’s a really wonderful thing.”
Fifty years ago, the namesake of the university’s journalism school, Ed Meek, was part of a dozen students who became charter members of the chapter. Meek went on to serve as the chapter’s president for its first two years on campus. In 1964, the chapter was known by the name Sigma Delta Chi, and with a laugh, Meek says he cannot remember when people started calling it ‘SPJ.’
“Our vision was a principle by which we would operate, and that was to be ethical, to tell it like it is, to be honest, to always get the facts, and to insist on openness in government.”
The Society of Professional Journalist’s goal echoes these statements. According to their website, they’ve been “dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press for more than 100 years.”
As the ’50 for 50′ campaign begins, Harris’s pitch to future members of the chapter is simple: It’s all about connections.
“Just really don’t underestimate the benefits that can come from joining.”
“I look down at some of the members today, and I look at where they are. They’re still some very significant people on this list who’ve had great careers and made great contributions…If you want to really benefit from your education, get involved and develop your own network.
Ways to Join:
-Join online at www.spj.org.
-Download a form and join by mail or fax.
-Request an application by mail.
University of Mississippi students won 20 awards — including four first places — at the annual Best of the South contest banquet on Friday night Feb. 21, and on Saturday they won first place as Onsite Championship Team for their performance in contests held during the Southeast Journalism Conference convention in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Friday night was a big night for Daily Mississippian Editor in Chief Adam Ganucheau. He won three Best of the South awards:
- Special Events Reporter/Editor first place, for his coverage of the “Laramie Project” disturbance and its aftermath;
- Best News Writer second place for articles from The DM and his Daily Journal internship;
- College Journalist of the Year second place. Adam’s College Journalist of the Year award came with a plaque and $500. The College Journalist of the Year competition requires an essay about responsibility and commitment, letters of recommendation and published work.
John Monteith won first place as Best Television Hard News Reporter for several NewsWatch segments.
Virginia England won first place as Best Magazine Page Layout Designer, for her design work in the “Land of Plenty” depth report.
Tim Abram won first place as Best Opinion-Editorial Writer for a series of DM columns.
Our other Best of the South winners:
- Casey Holliday, second place for Best Arts and Entertainment Writer;
- Ignacio Murillo, third place for Best Newspaper Page Layout Designer;
- Lauren McMillin, third place for Best Magazine Writer;
- Phil McCausland, third place for Best Feature Writer;
- Kristen Saltzman, third place for Best Advertising Staff Member;
- Brittani Acuff, fourth place for Best Television News Feature Reporter;
- Ellen Graves, fourth place for Best Journalism Research Paper;
- Thomas Graning, sixth place for Best Press Photographer;
- Sudu Upadhyay, sixth place for Best Television Journalist;
- Jonece Dunigan, sixth place Best Feature Writer for articles from her internship in Illinois;
- David Collier, eighth place for Best Sports Writer.
NewsWatch won second place for Best Television Station and third place for Best College Video News Program. TheDMonline.com won fourth place for Best College Website.
There were 440 entries from about 35 universities in Best of the South. The contest year covered mid-November 2012 through mid-November 2013, and most categories required three entries from each student. In large categories with many entries, awards were given for first through 10th place.
This year’s conference was Feb. 20-22 at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. About 300 students attended the conference. SEJC includes 40 universities in seven states.
A second highlight of the conference each year is the onsite competition in which students participate in categories under deadline pressure. This is the third time in four years that University of Mississippi students won the grand championship award for the onsites. UM students were named conference champions based on points accumulated for the following awards:
- Phil McCausland, feature writing;
- Phillip Waller, news photography;
- Thomas Graning, sports photography.
- Ignacio Murillo, page design;
- Sudu Upadhyay, television reporting;
- Caty Cambron, Olivia Rearick and Katie Davenport, public relations team
- Sarah Parrish, copy editing
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, former Jackson City Council president Leslie McLemore, former state Republican chairman Jim Herring and Ole Miss political science professor Marvin King discussed the 1965 Voting Rights Act and Mississippi’s new voter ID law at the Overby Center’s program “The Sanctity of the Vote.”
“No Longer Silent,” the Meek School’s documentary on the experiences of Simeon Wright related to the 1955 abduction and murder of his cousin, Emmett Till, has been shown on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Last month it was uploaded to a clearinghouse server for educators and public broadcasters. As of this week, February program schedules for Colorado, Alaska, South Carolina, Philadelphia, and Dayton, Ohio, public broadcasters include the documentary.
By Chun Wu
Alexandra Donaldson, a senior majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), placed third in Informative Speech and fifth in Marketplace Pitch at the 11th annual Speaker’s Edge event last month.
The Speaker’s Edge competition is a two-day public speaking competition in which participants make three different presentations.
“It is of Ole Miss, by Ole Miss and for Ole Miss,” JoAnn Edwards, the coordinator of Speaker’s Edge.
Before the formal competition, students are intensively tutored for two weeks by world-class coaches. At the end of the two weeks, all of the students make three presentations (Ethical Dilemmas, Informative Communication and The Marketplace Pitch) to judges who are Ole Miss alumni or Ole Miss professors. The alumni are from throughout the nation.
Donaldson was the first and only student from the Meek School to participate in the campus-wide speech competition.
She used to be extremely nervous in front of a group.
“It really helped me,” Donaldson said. “I’ve come so far. You wouldn’t even think I’m the same person.”
“She was in the campaigns class last fall, and was terrified to give a presentation,” said Scott Fiene, assistant professor in the Meek School. “She knew that was a skill she needed, so she participated in the Speaker’s Edge. I’m very proud she took that initiative.”
Will Norton, dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and Chris Sparks, IMC professional in residence, were invited to be judges of 2014 Speaker’s Edge.
“Leaders have to speak on television,” Norton said. “They have to make presentations, or they have do interviews. They have to learn how to think on their feet and make adjustments based on their audiences.”
“Thus, Speaker’s Edge is a great venue for learning how to do these things well, and Professor Edwards has hired an excellent teaching faculty.”
According to Edwards, Speaker’s Edge is still growing. She hopes that more journalism students and more judges from journalism’s alumni base will participate in the competition in the future. She sees it as not only a opportunity for students to improve their presentation and public speaking skills, but also their networking.
It is a way for businesses to recruit exceptional talent.
Sam Haskins, an executive at FedEx, told Edwards he is recruiting more employees from Ole Miss alumni.
Trading the winter weather in Oxford for the extreme heat of West Africa, Dr. Nancy Dupont and freshman journalism major Sudu Upadhyay spent winter intersession with the Ole Miss chapter of Engineers Without Borders in Togo.
Eleven engineering students, led by Marni Kendricks, assistant dean of engineering, and Michael Costelli of Gulfport, professional mentor, built a three-room school building in the village of Hedomé in the Vogan region of Togo. Local villagers assisted with what’s known as “sweat” equity.
“This is the most magnificent building we’ve ever seen in this village,” said Rev. Kokou Loko, a Baptist minister with churches in Lomé and Hedomé. “We can’t thank the engineering students enough for their service to my people.”
“This is a big deal to me because I’m getting to witness something that could be life-changing for the people of this village,” said Upadhyay. “For me as a young student journalist, the experience is incredibly valuable.”
The engineering team and the journalists returned to Oxford on January 19.
Randall Pinkston, 33-year correspondent for CBS News, has students read timed scripts they prepared in the class taught in Intersession for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Pinkston, born in Yazoo County, is a graduate of Millsaps College and the University of Connecticut School of Law. Since retiring from CBS, for which he was a White House correspondent, national and international reporter, winner of three Emmys and one Edward R. Murrow Award, Pinkston has been freelancing for Al Jazeera America. In the class, advanced broadcast students write and read scripts continually, usually on camera, and then review and critique their work.
On the 30th anniversary of the 1983 Egg Bowl, players, coaches and journalists discuss one of the greatest games in the history of the rivalry. Watch the documentary on YouTube. It was produced by Brad Schultz, assistant professor in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, and Eric Williamson, a former UM instructor
“Spreading Some Magazine Cheer”
Gary D. Parisher, President, Cheeriodicals
Bill Morris, CEO, Morris Communications
“Celebrating Magazine Launches”
Moderated by Tony Silber, General Manager, Red 7 Media
Craig Chapman, Producer, Real Food Real Kitchens
Scott Coopwood, Owner/Publisher, Delta Magazine
Carol Kicinski, Founder and Editor in Chief, Simply Gluten Free Magazine
Thom Kicinski, CEO, Edgewater Park Media Inc.
Jordana Megonigal, Editor in Chief, Business Black Box
Megan Smith, Founder and Editor, Cake & Whiskey magazine
Kelly Waldrop, Assistant Publisher, Covey Rise Magazine
Julie Wilson, Owner/Publisher, STORY magazine
“Publishing the Mann Way”
Bernie Mann, Publisher, Our State Magazine
“Print Consumer Marketing in a Digital Age –The View from Several Perspectives”
“A Changing Landscape”
John Harrington, Publisher/Editor, The New Single Copy
“Where Magazines are Sold Today and What is Sold”
Gil Brechtel, President, Magazine Information Network (MAGNET)
“Balancing Content in Expanding Platforms”
Jay Annis, Vice President, Trade Sales, Books and Magazines, The Taunton Press
“Retail Sales Marketing in a Multi-Platform Media Environment”
Rich Jacobsen, President and CEO, Time/Warner Retail Sales & Marketing
“How Magazine Publishers are Creating Value for Their Companies in the Digital Age”
Reed Phillips, CEO and Managing Partner, Desilver + Phillips
Jim Elliott, CEO, The James G. Elliott Company, Moderator
“Don’t Take Publishing Too Seriously”
Roy Reiman, Founder, Reiman Publications
The MIC Band performs at Ground Zero
Keith Kawasaki, Senior Director, iostudio
Maarten Lens-Fitzgerald, Co-founder, Layar
“The Light at the End of the Tunnel”
Luke Magerko, Managing Director, Marketing Analytics Project, LLP
Linda Ruth, President, Publishers Total Sales Services
Lisa Scott, Executive Director, Periodical and Book Association of America
Senior journalism major Anna Beth Higginbotham took home the crown at the 65th Annual Miss University Pageant Nov. 20., 2013, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
Charlie Mitchell, assistant dean at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, speaks to attendees at the Mississippi Municipal League’s Small Town Conference at Harrah’s Tunica Resort Nov. 21. He and Layne Bruce, executive director of the Mississippi Press Association, presented a program on “Media Matters: Working with the Media and Understanding Mississippi’s Sunshine Laws.”
Students in two advanced public relations classes taught by Robin Street traveled to Memphis Nov. 5 to meet with PR professionals at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and FedEx.
At FedEx, seven public relations professionals are Ole Miss graduates. Five of them talked with the students and provided insight into working for a global corporation, as well as career guidance.
Pictured here are, left to right, FedEx employees Ed Coleman, communications principal, Services Communications; Steve Barber, senior communications specialist, Global Engagement and Events; Jenny Robertson, manager of global media; Street; Alex Shockey, senior communications specialist, Digital & Social Media; and Natashia Gregoire, manager of reputation management. Scheduled to meet, but unable to attend were Ole Miss grads Rose Flenorl, manager of corporate citizenship and Cindy Conner, director, Global Citizenship and Reputation Management.
At St. Jude, students toured the hospital and learned what it is like to work in non-profit public relations. They learned that St. Jude must raise enough in donations to fund its operating costs of $1.9 million dollars a day. Here they pose in front of the hospital with the statue of St. Jude.
The chief executive officer for the Tennessee Valley Authority, Bill Johnson, joined three other specialists in the field of energy and development from North Mississippi in a discussion of “The Future of Energy and Economic Development in the Region.”
The special program, designed to take advantage of a meeting of the TVA board of directors in Oxford, was moderated by Charles Overby, chairman of the Overby Center.
Johnson, who became president and CEO of the TVA in January, is responsible for leading the nation’s largest public utility. TVA provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors in parts of seven states across the southeastern United States. A summa cum laude graduate of Duke University with a law degree from the University of North Carolina, Johnson developed an impressive background in the energy field in North Carolina before taking the TVA position.
Others on the panel from North Mississippi – which is served in many areas by TVA – are:
- David Copenhaver of Tupelo, a retired vice president, administration, for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc. With more than a quarter-century’s experience in economic development in the Southeast, Copenhaver had a major role in establishing the Toyota plant at Blue Springs, near Tupelo.
- J.R. (Josh) Gladden, associate professor of physics and director of the National Center for Physical Acoustics at Ole Miss. Gladden conducts research on energy-related materials and served last year as the university’s representative to the SEC Symposium on Renewable Energy.
- David Rumbarger, the president and CEO of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation. Rumbarger has more than 20 years experience in economic development and focuses on creating project partnerships and local incentive packages.
Watch the program on YouTube.
Robin Street, APR, was named PR Professional of the Year by the Oxford chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi recently.
Street, lecturer in journalism at the University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media, specializes in teaching public relations.
The award is given for career and professional achievements, as well as involvement in PRAM. Street co-founded the local chapter of PRAM and has served as president, vice president,and secretary-treasurer.
Local PRAM president Kelly Graeber presented the award to Street.
“Robin was chosen for the award because she is a role model and mentor to all her current and former students, as well as others in the profession,” Graeber said. “As a teacher, she has prepared hundreds of students to become the PR professionals they are today. In addition, her own work is award winning. She is truly a shining example of what a PR professional should be.”
Street now becomes the Oxford PRAM chapter’s nominee for the state professional of the year award. Previously, in 2009, Street was named Educator of the Year by both PRAM and the Southern Public Relations Federation.