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Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society 2014 Inductees

KTA Inductees 2014Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication 2014 inductees attended a luncheon in their honor April 21.

The Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication, which recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship, is 104 years old.  Membership is a mark of high distinction and honor and is by invitation only based on outstanding academic achievement. The Greek letters mean Knowledge, Truth and Accuracy. The emblem is a gold key that symbolizes knowledge and high standards. Top Scholar plaques and a gold medallion are awarded to the undergraduate and graduate students who have the highest grade point average in their class. All inductees receive a certificate, a KTA key and an honor cord to wear at graduation.

 

Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society 
in Journalism and Mass Communication 2014 Inductees

 

TOP SCHOLARS
Graduate: Paul George Katool
Undergraduate: Mara Michele Lesieur Joffe

 

UNDERGRADUATE
Jonece Latrice Dunigan
Teresa Elise Hendrix
Mara Michele Lesieur
Joffe Cameron
Ellen Klass
Lauren Marie McMillin
Sarah Bracy Penn
Mary Daniel Simpson
Kayleigh Anne Skinner
Phillip Christopher Waller

 

GRADUATE
Andrew David Anglin
Edgar Paris Buchanan
Paul George Katool
Jason L. McCormick
Joya Marie McNeil
Kierra Renee’ Ransey
Tiffany Leigh-Ann Smith
Silpa Swarnapuri
Tulia Taylor
Chun Wu

Ole Miss students honored with SPJ regional awards

Student Media Director Patricia Thompson and students Lacey Russell, Thomas Graning and Phillip Waller display the 16 awards won by University of Mississippi students in this year's regional Society of Professional Journalists conference.

Student Media Director Patricia Thompson and students Lacey Russell, Thomas Graning and Phillip Waller display the 16 awards won by University of Mississippi students in this year’s regional Society of Professional Journalists conference.

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.

Breaking News Photography winning photo by Tom Graning

Breaking News Photography winning photo by Tom Graning

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.

General News Photography winning photo by Katie Williamson

General News Photography winning photo by Katie Williamson

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.

From the Meek School to the White House

Alex May-Sealey standing in front of Air Force One, the official aircraft for the President of the United Stated. May-Sealey works in the White House Visitors Office. Photo credit: Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media, White House Office of Communications.

Alex May-Sealey standing in front of Air Force One, the official aircraft for the President of the United Stated. May-Sealey works in the White House Visitors Office. Photo credit: Shin Inouye, Director of Specialty Media, White House Office of Communications.

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.”

 

MSPA awards excellence in Mississippi high school journalism

Oxford's Marisa Morrissette is this year's Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year.

Oxford’s Marisa Morrissette is the 2014 Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year.

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.

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame director Rick Cleveland presents St. Joseph High School's Jack Hall the inaugural Orley Hood Award for excellence in high school sports  writing.

Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame director Rick Cleveland presents St. Joseph High School’s Jack Hall the inaugural Orley Hood Award for excellence in high school sports writing.

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.

Meek faculty speak at journalism conferences

Teachathon Lineup JIMeek School journalism profs have been raising the program’s profile at two national conferences.  Photojournalist Mikki Harris (sixth from left) took to the stage as an invited presenter for Journalism Interactive (J/i) at the University of Maryland on April 4.  She demonstrated to the audience how she encourages even beginning students to take stunning photographs.
“When a student has no time, I show them how to look for reaction to action,” said Harris. For example, when covering a speech, a more powerful photograph might be created by getting reaction to what’s said instead of a speaker photo.
“If you do have some time, the key is to develop trust with your subject and get access,” said Harris.  Harris introduces exercises that help students see the value of spending time with the people  they plan to photograph. Her presentation was filled with strong photos from Meek School students.
Director of the undergraduate journalism program, Deb Wenger, is one of the organizers of J/i. She and Dr. Nancy Dupont were also on the program at the Broadcast Education Association conference in Las Vegas, April 6-9.  They presented on topics as varied as the future of journalism education to on-camera delivery to the success of the student-run NewsWatch newscast.  Dupont shared why Ole Miss is now one of just a few dozen journalism schools that still do a daily news program.
“Our news directors in Mississippi tell us this is what they want; they don’t really want to see stories on a resume reel that were done over a number of days,” said Dupont.
Dupont shared advice on how to get a top-notch show on the air with journalism professors and students around the country.  For Wenger, encouraging the inclusion of instruction about the business of journalism was a key message in her presentation on how journalism schools need to evolve what they teach.
“For too long, journalism educators have tried to pretend that journalism is not a business, and that has sent tens of thousands of journalists out into the profession unable to help the industry evolve, flourish and remain profitable,” said Wenger.
These faculty presentations help expose the wider journalism community to the quality of the Meek School, but also allow the faculty to develop their own professional and teaching skills as they learn from other experts in the field.

Alabama Media Group names David Magee editor of Birmingham magazine

David Magee photoAs editor of Birmingham magazine, David Magee will oversee the editorial operations of the magazine, which, for more than 50 years, has been the pre-eminent quality-of-life publication for the greater metro Birmingham area, celebrating the soul and culture of the region. Read more on PRWeb.com.

ESPN executive Rob King visits Ole Miss New Media Day

Rob King, senior vice president of ESPN, delivers inspirational speech to students during Ole Miss New Media Day.

Rob King, senior vice president of ESPN, delivers inspirational speech to students during Ole Miss New Media Day.

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.”

Puckett named James Beard Award finalist

susan-puckettThe James Beard Foundation, nicknamed “the Oscars of food world,” announced its awards finalists for 2014 earlier this week. Susan Puckett, a 1977 Ole Miss journalism school alumnus, was nominated in the Visual Storytelling category of the journalism awards. Her essay, “Dinin’ in the Delta,” appeared in the May 2013 issue of The Local Palate magazine with photos by Langdon Clay, a Sumner-based photographer whose work is also featured in Puckett’s culinary travelogue, “Eat Drink Delta: a Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South,” published in January 2013 by University of Georgia Press.

Last spring, Puckett co-taught the Delta Project depth reporting class with Overby Fellow Bill Rose. Over spring break, they supervised honors students as they reported stories about the dining culture and eating habits of the Delta, resulting in the magazine, Land of Plenty.

A Jackson native, Puckett now lives in Decatur, Ga., where she was the award-winning food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 19 years. She has written or collaborated on eight other books including “Citizen Farmers: The Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy Food, Build Thriving Communities, and Give Back to the Earth” with Daron “Farmer D” Joffe, released this week by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

Other James Beard nominees include two Oxford chefs, John Currence, whose cookbook, “Pickles Pigs and Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some” (Andrews McMeel) is in the running in the American Cooking category; and Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar, who is nominated in the Best Chef: South category.

Winners will be announced May 2 and May 5 in New York.

Meek PR students among top to watch

Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen

Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen

Wil Yerger

Wil Yerger

Meek School students Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen and Wil Yeager are featured in PR blogger Arik Hanson’s  list of “17 PR students to watch.”  Read the post at www.arikhanson.com.

 

Harris produces newscasts during fellowship

braceyHarrisMeek School journalism senior Bracey Harris received hands-on experience as a producer recently when she participated in the CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Harris is one of 12 students chosen from across the country to participate in the intensive workshop led by UNC journalism faculty and professionals at Capitol Broadcasting Company’s WRAL-TV in Raleigh. The program is geared toward seniors and graduate students finishing their programs and pursuing careers as producers, reporters, photojournalists and Web editors. View the shows she produced at www.wral.com.

Harris is multimedia editor at The Daily Mississippian, a former NewsWatch anchor, and was named Best Magazine Writer by the Southeast Journalism Conference for articles published in “The Flood of the Century” depth report. Her internships include print and television work in Jackson.

 

 

Got an interview? Get that journalism job

WJTV anchor Byron Brown (holding mic) and WTVA news director Dave Beech share advice with job seekers at annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day at Ole Miss.

WJTV anchor Byron Brown (holding mic) and WTVA news director Dave Beech share advice with job seekers at annual Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day at Ole Miss.

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.

CBS Sports takes journalism students behind scenes of broadcast

GrantEvery 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.”

Ole Miss SPJ chapter turns 50, new campaign gets more students involved

SPJ1The Ole Miss chapter of the Society of Professional Journalism, commonly known as SPJ, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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.”

Meek agrees.

“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.

UM students honored at Best of the South

in Lafayette, La., Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (Photo/Thomas Graning)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:

First places:

  • Phil McCausland, feature writing;
  • Phillip Waller, news photography;
  • Thomas Graning, sports photography.

Second places:

  • Ignacio Murillo, page design;
  • Sudu Upadhyay, television reporting;
  • Caty Cambron, Olivia Rearick and Katie Davenport, public relations team

Third place:

  • Sarah Parrish, copy editing

Former Mississippian editor dies at 88

Paul Newton deceasedOle Miss alumnus Paul Newton of Gulfport, Miss., passed away on February 10, 2014.  Newton, 88, was editor of The Mississippian, now The Daily Mississippian, in the 1940s.  Read his obituary at legacy.com.

Alumni Profile: Jesse Holland

By Annie Rhoades

Jesse HollandFrom journalism student, beat reporter and editor for The Daily Mississippian to writer for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C., alumnus Jesse Holland (BA 94), has led an accomplished career.

Born in Holly Springs, Holland, Associated Press race and ethnicity writer, had his sights set on Ole Miss long before he graduated from Mount Pleasant’s H.W. Byers High School in 1989. Read more at olemissalumni.com.

Alumnus honors Speakes’ life

Washington, D.C. businessman makes gift to UM speaker series

Larry Speakes with former president Ronald Reagan.

The late Larry Speakes, an Ole Miss alumnus, left, served as White House spokesman to President Ronald Reagan. Another alumnus, Joel Wood of Washington, D.C., has provided a generous gift to the Overby Speakers Series Endowment to pay tribute to Speakes’ life.

Joel Wood, a University of Mississippi graduate and prominent Washington, D.C., businessman and lobbyist, has committed a generous gift to the Overby Center Speakers Series to pay tribute to the late Larry Speakes, former spokesperson for a U.S. president.

Wood’s contribution coincided with a recent tribute to Speakes at the university’s Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. Speakes, a journalism student at Ole Miss in the late 1950s, became the White House spokesman for President Ronald Reagan in 1981. After a long illness, Speakes died Jan. 10 at the age of 74. Read more at umfoundation.com.

Lewis DVorkin of Forbes offers seven things all journalists need to know

 

Lewis DVorkin

Lewis DVorkin

Read the article at forbes.com.

Meek School documentary on Simeon Wright to air nationally

EMMETT TILL MARKER

Simeon Wright

Simeon Wright

“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.

 

Bracey Harris selected for national journalism fellowships

Bracey HarrisMeek School journalism senior Bracey Harris has been awarded two prestigious national journalism fellowships this semester: The New York Times Student Journalism Institute and the CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship. Both programs provide hands-on training from some of the best journalists in the country.

In March, Harris heads to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for an intensive workshop led by UNC journalism faculty and professionals at Capitol Broadcasting Company’s WRAL-TV in Raleigh. The CBC-UNC program is a competitive fellowship for only 12 top students from across the country. The program is geared toward seniors and graduate students finishing their programs and pursuing careers as producers, reporters, photojournalists and Web editors.

In late May, Harris travels to Dillard University for the New York Times institute. Students work as journalists supervised by New York Times editors and reporters. They work as reporters, copy editors, photographers, Web producers, print and Web designers and video journalists. Many alumni of the program now work at major news organizations.

“During the institute at Dillard, I will be responsible for writing an enterprise story about New Orleans,” Harris said. “By the end of the program, we will produce a newspaper. I have seen copies of past publications and can tell the expectations are high. What’s really exciting is that the paper will contain The New York Times masthead. I’m really looking forward to utilizing the skills I’ve gained from the Meek school, SMC and internships.”

Harris is multimedia editor at The Daily Mississippian, a former NewsWatch anchor, and was named Best Magazine Writer by the Southeast Journalism Conference for articles published in “The Flood of the Century” depth report. Her internships include print and television work in Jackson.

In the summer of 2012, Dean Will Norton and three students traveled to South Africa to work on a reporting project with students from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Harris was one of the Meek School students on that trip.

Dean Norton noted that at the end of one of her essays for the South Africa publication, Harris wrote: “Although separated by the Atlantic Ocean, Mississippi and South Africa often fight the same struggles. How to look forward to the future without denying the past poses a challenge. However, the battle can be won.”

Dean Norton added: “That expression of optimism in the face of enormous challenges is who Bracey is for me.”

Daily Mississippian wins MPA advertising awards

DM Winning MPA Ad 2014

Winning entry for best advertising promotion

The Daily Mississippian won several awards in the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest advertising division annual competition. The Daily Mississippian competes against professional newspapers in the state in this contest, not other college newspapers.

Kristen Saltzman, an education major, won 1st place for best advertising promotion, competing against all daily newspapers in Mississippi. The winning entry was a house ad for yearbook class portraits that featured students in the 1983 yearbook. Saltzman has worked on the creative staff at the Student Media Center for several years.

The Daily Mississippian won second place for best niche publication in the state, for its 2013 orientation guide. Emily Roland, last year’s DM editor in chief, was in charge of the editorial content and designed the cover. LeAnna Young was student sales manager, and students Kristen Saltzman and Nate Weathersby were the creative design staff for the publication.

An ad for the Ole Miss Quarterback Club, by Creative Services Manager Debra Novak, won third place for best black and white institutional advertisement in a category that includes newspapers with daily circulation higher than 9,000.

Meek School student Alexandra Donaldson among winners in Speaker’s Edge contest

Alexandra Donaldson, second from right, with other Speaker’s Edge winners. Photo by Chris Ruple

Alexandra Donaldson, second from right, with other Speaker’s Edge winners. Photo by Chris Ruple

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.

Overby Center remembers life and career of Larry Speakes

Larry Speakes with former president Ronald Reagan.

Larry Speakes with former president Ronald Reagan.

Larry Speakes (left) with Stan Dearman, editor of the Ole Miss student paper (which was The Mississippian at that time, before it became a daily).

Larry Speakes (left) with Stan Dearman, editor of
the Ole Miss student paper (which was The Mississippian
at that time, before it became a daily).

From his childhood in Merigold, Mississippi, and his college days at Ole Miss, to his role as spokesman for President Ronald Reagan at the White House, Larry Speakes’ life had the trajectory of a Horatio Alger tale.

He rose from a job as a small-town Delta newsman to become press secretary for Sen. James O. Eastland before becoming a player in national politics.

After an assassination attempt in 1981 that wounded President Reagan and left his press secretary, Jim Brady, disabled, Speakes became the voice of the Reagan Administration and had a role in some of the most memorable events of the Reagan years.

Speakes, who died earlier this month, was remembered last month at a program to start the Overby Center’s spring schedule with a panel of guests who knew him or worked with him – including his close friend Ed Meek.  Charles Overby served as moderator. Watch the full program on YouTube.

Rory Reardon and Harriet Riley with Larry Speakes in his White House office during 1982.  Speakes always was willing to meet with Ole Miss journalism students at the White House.

Rory Reardon and Harriet Riley with Larry Speakes in his White House office during 1982. Speakes always was willing to meet with Ole Miss journalism students at the White House.

Daily Mississippian wins MPA advertising awards

DM Winning MPA Ad 2014

Winning entry for best advertising promotion

The Daily Mississippian won several awards in the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest advertising division annual competition. The Daily Mississippian competes against professional newspapers in the state in this contest, not other college newspapers.

Kristen Saltzman, an education major, won 1st place for best advertising promotion, competing against all daily newspapers in Mississippi. The winning entry was a house ad for yearbook class portraits that featured students in the 1983 yearbook. Saltzman has worked on the creative staff at the Student Media Center for several years.

The Daily Mississippian won second place for best niche publication in the state, for its 2013 orientation guide. Emily Roland, last year’s DM editor in chief, was in charge of the editorial content and designed the cover. LeAnna Young was student sales manager, and students Kristen Saltzman and Nate Weathersby were the creative design staff for the publication.

An ad for the Ole Miss Quarterback Club, by Creative Services Manager Debra Novak, won third place for best black and white institutional advertisement in a category that includes newspapers with daily circulation higher than 9,000.

Meek School professor and student spend intersession in Togo

Sudu and Nancy and studentsBy Nancy Dupont

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.

Togo 2014 2Eleven 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.”

Sudu and NancyDupont and Upadhyay will produce various stories about the project, including print reports, a three-part television series and a documentary.

“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.

Larry Speakes dies at 74

Larry Speakes in 1959 when he was an assistant editor at The Daily Mississippian. Photo by Ed Meek

Larry Speakes in 1959 when he was an assistant editor at The Daily Mississippian. Photo by Ed Meek

Larry Speakes, a native of Merigold and Ole Miss graduate who later served as press secretary for President Ronald Reagan (1981 to 1987), died early Friday morning, Jan. 10, at his home in Cleveland.

Read reports of his passing at HottyToddy.com and nytimes.com.

School’s New Media conference focuses on branding, featuring ESPN executive

Rob King - 2007On March 27, 2014, the Meek School of Journalism and New Media proudly presents “Ole Miss New Media EXPAND YOUR BRAND,” an intensive one-day conference for journalists, marketers, business owners and anyone else who wants grow their business through the power of social and mobile media.

Kicking off the event is Rob King, ESPN’s senior vice president of editorial, print and digital media, who will share insights about ESPN branding and editorial strategies across multiple platforms.

The day will feature additional speakers and sessions on monetizing social media, understanding search engine optimization, the role of design in banding and strategic planning and much more.

Register Now

Purchase tickets by February 14 for $100 ($150 after that date).  For more information, contact Susan O’Keefe at saokeefe@olemiss.edu.

“Back Story: A Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Examines His Own Family”

Harness_makers_dream_cover_pageNick Kotz reflects on writing “The Harness Maker’s Dream: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas.” Read the article at nickkotz.com. Kotz is married to Mary Lynn Kotz, a Meek School graduate.

PR students learn from alumni at FedEx

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.

Street FedExPictured 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.

Street St. JudeAt 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.

Panelists discuss future of energy, economic development in North Mississippi

TVA OverbyThe 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.