The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

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How four weeks of an internship turned into a job offer

Posted on: August 22nd, 2016 by drwenger

FullSizeRender (10)By Madi Van Zile, May 2016 Graduate

Graduating from college is a mixed bag of emotions.

On one hand, you are relieved to be finally done with school. No more final exams, no more term papers, no more last-minute assignments due before 3 p.m., that’s all over.

The other end of that spectrum is a sense of dread. Most graduates have been in school from the time they were 5-years-old until the day they walk across the stage. What does one do after college?

For most graduates, the first thing on their minds is getting a job. Personally, that is what I wanted, but because I had made it to my senior year with no prior internship or journalism work outside of a school publication, I had limited qualifying experience to put on a resume.

Fortunately, I got a summer internship through the Ole Miss Producer Internship Program and started work at WTVA-News in Tupelo, Mississippi just days after graduation.  Doing a post-graduate internship does mean a little extra schoolwork, but it gives you a chance to actually experience the industry you hope to join. Summer internships usually last anywhere from six to eight weeks, but in that time frame an intern may gain enough viable information to get a job.

One of the first tips I would offer to any intern is to ask as many questions as possible. It sounds like one of the most obvious things to do, but it is also one of the things students sometimes overlook. By asking a ton of questions, an intern looks like he or she truly wants to be there and is ready to start a career.

Another tip I can offer is to ask for as many hours as you can get. For my internship, I had to put in a minimum of 20 hours per week. I chose to work 40 hours a week, a full-time shift Monday through Friday, and I would not have traded it for anything in the world. The reason I made myself available for that much time is than an internship is one of the only opportunities students have to gain experience that could lead to a job. Working an 8-hour day gives an intern a chance to learn what it feels like to work there, too.

I also did not want to be classified as that intern who sat around on her phone and just waited for the time to fly by. I wanted to do what the other reporters and producers did, no matter the task. I saw another intern who was there for just a couple of hours a day who, for the most part, was on the phone the entire time while a videographer was trying to teach that person how to edit.

I constantly kept myself busy by looking up potential news stories, writing some simple stories for the newscasts, stacking shows and asking constantly, “Is there anything else you guys need me to do?” I would not leave until I made sure there was not another thing I could do for the day.

The news director I worked under for WTVA said that when I walked in on the first day, he felt like I was just a regular staff member for the station. I wanted to jump in and feel like I was part of the crew, and I did. I observed everything my producers did, and after a while, I was left alone to do some of the newscasts (granted, the night-side producer got married three weeks into my internship so I had to do the shows by myself, but I digress).

If an intern goes into it thinking that it is just for college credit, he or she will gain less from the experience. I wanted to be a part of the news industry, and I came across that way to the staff at WTVA. The headline does say it took four weeks for me to get a job. Well, I was fibbing a little bit; it took four weeks and one day. Four weeks after my first day, I did my first live shot ever on TV. After that, I received the job offer. The news director said it felt like I was already a part of the station, all he had to do was make it official.

Students in the broadcast journalism emphasis at the Meek School are required to do an internship, and all other majors are encouraged to gain internship experience.  If you are interested in learning more about the Ole Miss Producer Internship Program, feel free to contact Prof. Deb Wenger at  


Free ice cream and information at the 1st annual Meek & Greet

Posted on: August 21st, 2016 by drwenger

Whether you’re new to the school or an old hand at this IMC and journalism thing, be sure to stop by the Meek & Greet Ice Cream Social on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 12:15-1 p.m. under the school tailgating tent in front of Farley Hall.

Get yourself a scoop of ice cream from any one of the faculty serving up treats, and then get the scoop on local internships and jobs, organizations and activities that you can use to build your resume and get more out of your time at Ole Miss.

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Design students learn by doing and doing good

Posted on: August 12th, 2016 by drwenger
Meek School student Ryan Grover developed an award-winning logo under the direction of his design instructor Emily Moore.

Meek School student Ryan Grover developed an award-winning logo under the direction of his design instructor Emily Moore.

There’s nothing like learning by doing, and that’s why the Meek School of Journalism & New Media emphasizes instruction in the skills that students can put to use immediately.  For example, media design instructor Emily Bowen-Moore has partnered with organizations on campus and in the community to help her students get practical experience in creating logos.

“I like for the students to be involved in designing for local community events and organizations. It creates a connection between the university students and local/regional population. In addition, the goal is to give the students an opportunity for actual experience in the industry of designing and marketing for business,” said Bowen-Moore.

Student Ryan Grover competed with dozens of other students in the Meek School in a contest to select the top logo design for the Oxford School District Foundation (OSDF).  For 30 years, the organization has raised money to support innovative teaching within Oxford classrooms and this year it is in the middle of a year-long birthday celebration.  Grover developed an anniversary logo that will be used on posters, T-shirts, social media and in other OSDF publications.

“I’m really grateful to have had the chance to work with the Oxford School District Foundation. It was a great opportunity to practice the things we learn in class with a real world project,” said Grover.

He also valued the chance to get outside the classroom to make a difference.

“I’ve always been interested in graphic design and have really enjoyed taking this class with Mrs. Bowen-Moore. It was awesome that OSFD considered our class to be involved with the design process and I hope we students can have more opportunities like this to work with the Oxford community.”

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Maggie McDaniel joins communications 21® as newest account manager

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by pchurdle

Maggie_headshot_website_resize_500pxcommunications 21 (c21®), a full-service marketing, public relations and interactive firm, has hired Maggie McDaniel, a Columbus, GA native as its newest account manager.

Before being promoted to a c21 account manager, McDaniel served as an intern where she developed social media strategy, and managed email marketing and public relations.

McDaniel graduated in May 2016 from The University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in journalism along with a public relations emphasis. While still in school she served as news editor for her University’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Mississippian, television reporter for Newswatch99 and served on the public relations team for Ole Miss Big Event, an organization that focuses on community service. She spent last summer interning for Appen Media writing news stories and The Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce, where she helped promote the organization and plan social events.

“Maggie is a talented team member, bringing with her a great set of journalism skills, including videography, writing and communication,” said c21President Sharon Goldmacher. “Our clients will greatly benefit from her already strong skill set.”

McDaniel’s journalism background took her across the world when in 2015 she was chosen to travel with The University of Mississippi to Ethiopia for an in depth reporting trip. The content from this trip was published into a magazine and featured on the Washington Post’s website. She also is a national award winning journalist. In August 2015, she traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and reported on the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. Her work and that of her classmates, received the 2015 “Mark of Excellence” award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

McDaniel will work with a variety of clients including Meals on Wheels Atlanta, Buckhead Community Improvement District, Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) and more.

Meek School graduate opens popsicle business

Posted on: August 5th, 2016 by pchurdle

thumbnail_Taylor Neal Popsy2Taylor Neal,  2008 Journalism graduate, has found a novel way to use her communication skills as co-owner of Popsy homemade popsicles. Taylor works from Tupelo, Miss., but is often found selling them in Oxford. You can also buy them at Holli’s Sweet Tooth in Oxford. Her former teacher, Robin Street, is loving the banana cream flavor with a vanilla wafer inside. Find out if they’ll be near you on their Facebook page


Meek School alumni gather at the PRAM Jackson chapter meeting to hear Robin Street speak

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 by pchurdle
robin pram

Pictured left to right: Haleigh Huddleston Ritter, Bill Dabney, Mary Margaret Turner, Ashlee Reid, Street, Liz Hogue Densmore, Carey Miller, Susan Christensen (in front), Selena Standifer, Rachel Anderson, a current student interning in Jackson, Danny Blanton and Caron Blanton.

Ten Meek School alumni and one student attended the Jackson chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi meeting in June when Senior Lecturer Robin Street spoke, including six of Street’s former students.

Street spoke on From Millenials to Mothers and Sexual Orientation to Senior Citizens: A Look at some of Today’s Diverse Publics. PRAM has 10 chapters throughout the state.

Watch interview with Assistant Professor Alysia Steele on MPB’s “Conversations”

Posted on: July 19th, 2016 by ewrobins

Marshall Ramsey’s interview with Assistant Professor Alysia Steele for Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s “Conversations” aired on July 10.  Watch it at:


Anderson gains PR experience with MDOT Internship

Posted on: July 18th, 2016 by pchurdle
Pictured left to right: Northern Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, Southern Transportation Commissioner Tom King, Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Public Affairs Division Summer Intern Rachel E. Anderson, Central Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. Anderson has been able to further practice and study communications while gaining valuable professional experience in public relations and public service with the MDOT Intern Program this summer. Anderson is a rising senior of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi from Chesapeake, VA pursuing degrees in journalism and Spanish.

Pictured left to right: Northern Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, Southern Transportation Commissioner Tom King, Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Public Affairs Division Summer Intern Rachel E. Anderson, Central Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. Anderson has been able to further practice and study communications while gaining valuable professional experience in public relations and public service with the MDOT Intern Program this summer. 

At a recent meeting of the Mississippi Transportation Commission, Rachel E. Anderson was introduced as the new Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Public Affairs Division Summer Intern.

Transportation Commissioners Mike Tagert, Tom King and Dick Hall welcomed Anderson to her new position with MDOT.

Each spring, summer and fall, MDOT’s Public Affairs Division selects one senior or graduate student interested in pursuing a career in communications to complete an internship in media and public relations. The intern works directly with the division to cultivate professional communication skills through developing and producing press releases, campaigns, social media content and feature stories, among other tasks.

Anderson is a rising senior of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi pursuing Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and Spanish as well as a specialization in public relations. She is originally from Chesapeake, Virginia.

Watch interviews with James Meredith, Ed Meek and Curtis Wilkie on upcoming editions of MPB’s “Conversations”

Posted on: June 24th, 2016 by pchurdle

A Feb. 29 interview with James Meredith organized by Dr. Kathleen Wickham and Dr. Larry Wells will air during an edition of MPB’s “Conversations” with Daphne Chamberlain and Flonzie Brown Wright. The topic of the program is the 50th anniversary of James Meredith’s March Against Fear, June 6, 1966. Meek School graduates Logan Kirkland and Jared Boyd conducted the interview. Dates and airtimes for the program are: June 23, 10 p.m. and June 26, 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

On the June 30 edition of “Conversations” at 10 p.m., author Ed Meek is joined by fellow journalist, historian and University of Mississippi Professor Curtis Wilkie to talk about the tumultuous 60s when James Meredith became the first African American to enroll at Ole Miss. The event sparked dangerous campus riots, captured in Meek’s photographs and compiled in his book, “RIOT: Witness to Anger and Change.”


2015-16 Student Media Leaders

Posted on: May 14th, 2016 by ewrobins

By Taylor Morton

As their time as managers ends, we say farewell and thank you. They are headed to jobs and internships in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Orlando.

Amy Hornsby (Rebel Radio)

Amy Hornsby meets with sports DJs in the Rebel Radio studio

Amy Hornsby meets with sports DJs in the Rebel Radio studio

Amy Hornsby climbed her way up at Rebel Radio, from DJ, to marketing director, to interim station manager, to station manager.

WUMS-FM 92.1 Rebel Radio is one of the few college student-run commercial FM radio stations in the country. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and boasts a signal stretching nearly 40 miles across North Mississippi.

Hornsby is a junior integrated marketing Ccmmunications major from Starkville.

“Delegation has been the greatest challenge in this role,” Hornsby says. “You have to learn how to ask for and accept help from the people you work with. I’m proud of the things we do all the time, both on and off the air.”

Hornsby says the Student Media Center has been a gift to her.

“The Student Media Center has guided me. It helped me make new friends, get used to campus and meet older students who became my mentors and got me on track to find the best major for me.”

Additionally, Hornsby says she learned vital professional skills, such as teamwork, delegation and time management through her role as station manager.

“Amy Hornsby has just done a terrific job with radio this year,” said radio adviser Roy Frostenson. “She’s organized, dedicated and enthusiastic, all great traits for a radio station manager. She has assembled a great staff and they all work together very well which is a testament to Amy as a leader.”

Hornsby will spend fall semester 2016 in Orlando as a merchandising intern with the Disney College Program. After graduation in May 2017, she hopes to get involved in marketing for theater. Her ultimate goal is to combine the things she knows best: marketing, theater and radio.


Logan Kirkland (The Daily Mississippian)

Logan Kirkland on assignment in Lalibela, Ethiopia

Logan Kirkland on assignment in Lalibela, Ethiopia

Logan Kirkland didn’t start Ole Miss as a journalism major.

The senior from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, says friends encouraged him to take a journalism course. He realized how much he enjoyed interacting with people and telling their stories. He began writing for The Daily Mississippian, and remembers being excited when he saw his first byline in print.

Kirkland was a DM news editor during his junior year. After covering major stories on campus, he decided he wanted to take what he loved to the next step, and applied to be editor in chief for 2015-2016. He graduates this month with a bachelor of journalism degree.

He says his greatest challenge this past year has been making decisions about whether or not something should be published. “The subject matter can be touchy,” he says. “You want reaction, but you want it to be tasteful.”

Kirkland says he is most proud of his staff this year for the role it played in covering the campus controversy over taking down the state flag.

Patricia Thompson, director of student media and faculty adviser for The Daily Mississippian, praised Kirkland for his leadership of his staff and his individual work. The Society of Professional Journalists, for the second year in a row, has named The Daily Mississippian as one of the Top 3 best all-around student newspapers in the nation. Kirkland has won first-place awards in several contests for his writing and photography, including a multimedia project he produced from a journalism trip to Ethiopia.

“Logan is an ambitious, talented young journalist with a variety of skills that make him very marketable in this digital age,” Thompson says. “In addition to his editorial strengths, he has been an outstanding leader for the DM. There’s never a dull moment when Logan is in the newsroom. We will miss him, and we know he will have a successful career.”

This summer, Kirkland will work as a photo assistant at Harper’s Bazaar in New York. He said he would ultimately like to be a conflict photographer, working to document topics like conflict, war and poverty.

“I’m going to miss this place a lot,” Kirkland said. “I’m going to miss the staff and what we did on a daily basis.”


Mallory Lehenbauer (The Ole Miss yearbook)

Mallory Simerville Lehenbauer with the 2016 The Ole Miss yearbook

Mallory Simerville Lehenbauer with the 2016 The Ole Miss yearbook

Mallory Lehenbauer’s interest in the yearbook began when she applied for a position as yearbook writer her freshman year at Ole Miss. While she was a graduate assistant in the Student Media Center last year, her passion for the yearbook recurred.

Lehenbauer, a second-year graduate student in the Meek School’s integrated marketing communications program, received a bachelor’s degree in English and Southern Studies from Ole Miss in 2014. As an undergraduate, Lehenbauer worked in several writing and editing positions at The Daily Mississippian – including a summer as DM Editor in Chief.

“Mallory has been a valued member of student media for several years,” says Patricia Thompson, director of student media. “I was delighted when she applied to be yearbook editor. I knew that with her talent as a writer, editor, designer and leader, the yearbook would be in good hands and that she would lead her staff to produce a beautiful publication. She also used her IMC training to create branding and social media marketing for the yearbook.”

Published for the first time in 1896, The Ole Miss annual is the student yearbook that provides a permanent record of each year as seen and told by student staff.

The 2016 yearbook was distributed to students in late April.

Lehenbauer attributes much of The Ole Miss’ success to her staff. “They’re all amazing people and they make my job really easy,” she says.

“On a personal level, the Student Media Center has given me relationships with my peers that are forever. On a professional level, it has taught me to work in a fast-paced environment, meet deadlines and take criticism,” Lehenbauer says. “It is a mini professional environment hidden on the Ole Miss campus.”

Lehenbauer graduates this month, and is interviewing for jobs in Chicago.


Evan Miller (Advertising)

Evan Miller

Evan Miller

Evan Miller is a senior integrated marketing communications major from Decatur, Illinois. Evan’s father is a salesman, so he grew up knowing all about the demands and rewards of the career.

As the advertising manager for the past year and a half, Miller is most proud of hitting staff sales goals. He said the most rewarding part of his job has been helping new employees make their first sales.

“The Student Media Center has provided me with the opportunity to get real-world sales experience in a part-time setting,” Miller says. “It has been great for me.”

Roy Frostenson is the SMC assistant manager in charge of advertising. “In sales you’re only really measured one way and that’s by performance and the sales staff has performed extremely well under Evan’s leadership,” Frostenson says. “Our ad sales are up this year over last year and that’s to Evan’s credit. Evan does a good job working with our staff and making sure our advertisers are getting value for their investment with us.”

Miller graduates this month and has accepted a full-time sales job with Yelp in Chicago.


Browning Stubbs (NewsWatch)

Browning Stubbs interviews Athletics Director Ross Bjork in the NewsWatch studio

Browning Stubbs interviews Athletics Director Ross Bjork in the NewsWatch studio

Browning Stubbs, a senior broadcast journalism major from Memphis, is well acquainted with the Student Media Center. He has worked in almost every platform of the Student Media Center, and has worked his way up at NewsWatch.

Stubbs loved the arts from a young age, but his passion for live television began in high school. He started an online sports network that broadcast more than 50 sporting events throughout the year. He would give play-by-play commentary on-air.

“From that moment on, I knew I wanted to do TV,” Stubbs says. “I had acted in films and in plays, but I just really liked being live. There is so much hard work and pre-production, and when you can turn that into something live, it’s just magical.”

NewsWatch Ole Miss is the only live, daily, student-produced newscast in Mississippi, and the only local television news broadcast in Lafayette County. The 30-minute program airs live 5 p.m. on channel 12, the university’s cable station, and is live streamed on A repeat broadcast airs at 10 p.m. on channel 12.

Stubbs worked his way up at NewsWatch from sports anchor, to sports director, to newscast manager.

“As I moved up with NewsWatch, I got to learn everything about it. I learned how to break a news story, how to put graphics together, how to edit video, how to produce a show, how to make sound, how to operate cameras. I just wanted to broaden my knowledge and learn everything I could.”

Stubbs also worked as a sports DJ for Rebel Radio, and as the basketball beat writer for The Daily Mississippian. He even has an article in the 2016 yearbook.
Stubbs says the most challenging part of his job was covering controversial topics, making sure everyone was ready to go at 5 p.m., and working to change the name of the show to NewsWatch Ole Miss. He added more sports coverage to NewsWatch by creating a Friday show called RebelWatch.

Stubbs and his NewsWatch staff have been honored this year with awards in several contests. NewsWatch, for the fifth year in a row, was named best college newscast in the state by the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters organization.

“The Student Media Center is my second home. It has gotten me job offers, won me awards and made me really happy. I love this place,” Stubbs says. “Because of the Student Media Center, I feel like I’m qualified for a lot of jobs. The Student Media Center has given me opportunities in every field.”

Nancy Dupont is faculty adviser for NewsWatch. “Browning’s dedication to TV journalism is obvious to anyone who meets him,” she says. “He throws himself, heart and soul, into every newscast. He knows how to lead a team to get the best result possible. He’s a wonderful student to work with.”

Stubbs graduates this month, and has a production internship with ESPN in Los Angeles.

Stubbs plans to use what he has learned at the Student Media Center in his career. “I hope I have a successful career and can give back to this place one day,” he says.