The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

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Archive for the ‘Faculty News’ Category

Article by Dr. Kristen Swain chosen for presentation in Atlanta

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by pchurdle

“News Blackout and Social Media Invisibility after Toxic Transportation Spills” by Dr. Kristen Swain has been selected for an oral presentation during the National Public Health Information Coalition’s annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media, Aug. 11-13 in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit: nchcmm.nphic.

Vanessa Gregory receives Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship

Posted on: July 2nd, 2015 by pchurdle

University of Mississippi assistant professor of journalism Vanessa Gregory has been awarded a $4,500 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.61 million in grants the Commission awarded in 2015-2016 and will be used to support Gregory’s creative work as a nonfiction writer. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The arts in Mississippi are now being recognized as a key component to economic development and as a driver for creative strategies for the growth of our communities,” said Dr. Tom Pearson, Executive Director of MAC. “Individual artists play a vital role as really the backbone of this movement, and it is an honor for this agency to be a part of their professional growth.”

Gregory’s work has appeared in Harper’s, The American Prospect, and Garden & Gun, among other places. She studied journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and specializes in narrative nonfiction. “MAC’s fellowship is essential for supporting the type of in-depth journalism that might not otherwise make it into mainstream media outlets,” Gregory said.

The Mississippi Arts Commission is a state agency serving residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is the funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources. The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of arts in community life and in arts education.

For information from the Mississippi Arts Commission, please contact Susan Liles, 601/359-6031 or sliles@arts.ms.gov

Professor Vanessa Gregory’s work featured in Harper’s Magazine

Posted on: June 19th, 2015 by drwenger

Gregory Harper's Article 6.15A moving, feature-length article by Meek School assistant professor Vanessa Gregory appears on the June cover of Harper’s, the nation’s oldest general interest monthly magazine.

Gregory’s article, “Surviving a Failed Pregnancy,” combines memoir and reporting to explore the rarely discussed subjects of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. The narrative examines personal resilience, medicine’s relationship to the female body, society’s response to pregnancy loss, and reproductive politics.

Readers have described the story as “eloquent” and “beautiful.” Research and writing took more than six months, followed by a lengthy submission and editing process.

This is Gregory’s second published piece with Harper’s, a magazine celebrated for its fine writing and original thought. The magazine is known for publishing literary luminaries such as David Foster Wallace, Annie Dillard, and Willie Morris.

Gregory’s work also ​has ​appeared in The American ProspectThe New York Times, and Garden & Gun. She was a Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism and studied literary nonfiction at the University of California, Berkeley.

Viral: Husni blog on Vanity Fair

Posted on: June 11th, 2015 by pchurdle
Samir Husni-1

Dr. Samir Husni

Rare is the day when national or international publications/stories regarding the media industry don’t call on Dr. Samir Husni for comment/analysis of a trend or development. Last summer, University Communications printed out the line-item attributions to him in one news cycle and it took 36 pages. (They review all Internet mentions of “Ole Miss” or “University of Mississippi.”)

Dr. Husni’s blog re the Vanity Fair cover of Caitlyn Jenner drew worldwide attention, including the attention of Vanity Fair editor Chris Mitchell who both commented and offered Dr. Husni some comments for his blog, mrmagazine.wordpress.com.

All of this continues to keep the Meek School in the conversations related to the media industry. And, as here, not merely in the conversation but leading.

Four Meek School faculty members honored for kindness to students

Posted on: May 8th, 2015 by ewrobins
Four Meek School faculty members were among 15 professors honored campus-wide for their kindness to students by members of the Student Alumni Council. Pictured, left to right, are the professors and the students who nominated them. Front row: Senior Lecturer Robin Street and students Augusta Williams, Virginia Mayo and Sarah Bracy Penn. Back row: Assistant professors Scott Fiene and Chris Sparks, student Luke Love and Dean Will Norton. Photo credit: Charlie Mitchell

Four Meek School faculty members were among 15 professors honored campus-wide for their kindness to students by members of the Student Alumni Council. Pictured, left to right, are the professors and the students who nominated them. Front row: Senior Lecturer Robin Street and students Augusta Williams, Virginia Mayo and Sarah Bracy Penn. Back row: Assistant professors Scott Fiene and Chris Sparks, student Luke Love and Dean Will Norton. Photo credit: Charlie Mitchell

Faculty members in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media received accolades recently for something other than teaching or research.  These honors were for their kindness to students.

Four Meek School faculty members were among the 15 total professors recognized campus-wide for their “Random Acts of Kindness” to students by members of the Student Alumni Council.  They were Dean Will Norton, Assistant Professor Chris Sparks, Assistant Professor Scott Fiene and Senior Lecturer Robin Street.

The SAC is a student leadership organization sponsored by the Ole Miss Alumni Association. Members who are graduating seniors selected one faculty member each whose kindness towards them stood out during their college years. Students could select one teacher from any class they took.

The professors were honored at a reception April 29 at which the nominating student spoke about the professor and presented him or her with a small gift from the SAC.

Norton was nominated by Journalism major Sarah Bracy Penn. “Dean Norton has played a huge role in my Ole Miss experience, “ Penn said. “Even before I enrolled, he convinced me that the University of Mississippi and specifically, the Meek School, was the perfect place for me. Dr. Norton was a constant source of advice and counsel.

“And this year, when I was deciding where to apply to graduate school, he encouraged me when I thought I wasn’t qualified, and later, guided me through my decision making process.”

IMC major Virginia Mayo nominated Fiene. “I nominated Mr. Fiene because he played a huge part in me choosing IMC as my major,” Mayo said. “Since I met him almost three years ago, he has not only served as my academic advisor and professor, but he has also been a constant figure in the IMC department, always full of great advice.”

Augusta Williams, a marketing and corporate relations major, nominated Street. “Ms. Street is a wonderful light in the Journalism School,” Williams said. “She is kind, empathetic and truly cares for those in her classes. She is an engaging teacher who loves public relations, Ole Miss and students.”

IMC major Luke Love nominated Sparks. “Mrs. Sparks is the reason that I switched my major from biology to IMC,” Love said. “ I have had her for multiple classes where her passion for advertising inspired me and gave me a drive to succeed in the field.

“Her passion for the subject shows also through her care for her students as she has helped me, in her own free time, perfect my resume and gain connections so that I may be successful in the future.“

Big wins in Vegas for Meek School

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by drwenger

SuduWinThe Meek School of Journalism is flying high for a couple of different reasons.  First, the student-produced NewsWatch 99 broadcast took home an honorable mention at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) competition in Las Vegas this week.  According to NewsWatch 99 advisor Dr. Nancy Dupont, a 4th place showing in the national contest is the highest ranking the program has ever received.

In addition to the broadcast honors, Dupont and Prof. Deb Wenger presented in multiple sessions at the conference, moderating or participating in panels on topics such as using audience analytics in teaching and job hunting for broadcast students.

Journalism students and NewsWatch 99 managers Browning Stubbs and Sudu Upadhyay also traveled to Vegas for the conference.  BEA meets annually with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) because that group attracts more than 100,000 attendees who showcase products and demonstrate techniques affecting radio and television industries.

Upadhyay and Stubbs evaluated the latest in broadcast technology, which they hope to leverage in an effort to bring home a first-place award for student newscast in 2016.

Student-faculty team creates documentary on Ole Miss Engineering project in West Africa

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by drwenger

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.09.21 PMIn January 2014, two Engineering Without Borders (EWB) teams from the School of Engineering at Ole Miss returned to Togo, West Africa, to complete a school they started building for the people of the Hedome village a year before. Ole Miss Meek School of Journalism and New Media student journalist Sudu Upadhyay and professor Nancy Dupont followed the team to the West African country to document their work. Here is Sudu’s documentary that chronicles EWB’s work and tells a remarkable story of a minister trying to help his people.

The EWB organization will be returning to Togo in 2015 to work on a medical clinic for the village.  For more information about the program, contact the engineering school’s assistant dean, Marni Kendricks, mckendri@olemiss.edu.

 

5 Questions with Assistant Professor Evangeline Robinson

Posted on: November 3rd, 2014 by mpolito
Photo by Marlen Polito

Photo by Marlen Polito

Assistant Professor Evangeline Robinson is a native from Rolling Fork, Mississippi and teaches Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) in the Meek School. You can read more of her work experience, but here are 5 reasons to get to know Robinson.

What class do you most like to teach and why?

I most like to teach IMC 204, because it’s the introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication. I really enjoy being able to help students understand the basics before they get into the other classes. For me, it’s an opportunity to share my knowledge and to help them get to the part where they are ready to move on and pursue their interest in the field.

Describe your favorite type of student?

My favorite type of student is one that is really engaged with what we are talking about and who participates actively in our discussions.

What are you working on outside the classroom that you really enjoy doing?

I’m actually in the Ph.D. program in history; I’m really enjoying having the opportunity to further my interest in that area. It is giving me the opportunity to not only advance myself in my academic pursuits, but really to open up some other areas in history that I had an interest in and am now able to pursue. Hopefully that will make me stronger as I work with my students in IMC. As I’m learning, it’s giving me new ways to teach them, which is a really good benefit of being a student as well. 

Describe what type of student you were.

I’ve always been a very studious student; my grades were always important to me. I think that certainly throughout my various degrees it’s been important that I do the things that I need to and accomplish all the things that I need to.

Of all the thing you’ve done in your career, what makes you most proud?

I am most thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to impact the lives of others in some way.  From the work with nonprofits I’ve done that has helped make scholarships available or has helped grant the wishes of children with a life-threatening illness to now being able to help my students reach their career goals, I’m thankful for being able to do those things.

“Wearables” next big thing for journalism

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by drwenger
Oculus Rift device used to experience Des Moines Register's virtual reality farm tour.

Oculus Rift device used to experience Des Moines Register’s virtual reality farm tour.

When it comes to news gathering, USC’s Robert Hernandez says mobile phones just aren’t fast enough. Hernandez, who says he “hijacks tech for journalism,” is looking to wearables as a catalyst for the next big change in the news business.

“It’s not the device, it’s the content,” said Hernandez. “It’s actually the content optimized for the device. We were slow for mobile, before that it was social media; I’m trying for us to be proactive because this is a new form factor.”

As director of the undergraduate journalism Deb Wenger found out at the Online News Association conference in Chicago, it’s certainly a good time for journalists to be talking about these devices and new content forms with this month’s debut of the Apple Watch and more types of wearables popping up every day.

“I think the wrist wearable is the transition before we get over wearing technology on our face,” said Hernandez.

So, how do you define a wearable? He says it has six attributes.

  • Hands-free
  • Always on
  • Environmentally aware
  • Connected to the Internet
  • Gets attention without disruption
  • Open to third party developers

Hernandez says Google Glass is the “most mature of the wearables,” but points to the Oculus Rift as an indicator of what the future may hold. The system’s virtual reality goggles offer a dual-screen, full immersion experience, making you feel like you are there.

The Des Moines Register is one of the first news organizations to develop a project specifically for the Oculus Rift. According to the Washington Post, the Register’s “Harvest of Change” is an “interactive view of a farm in Iowa that was created to accompany a multi-part series of articles about the changing world of modern farming. In short, it’s what happens when you transform the news experience into a virtual reality gaming experience.”

Changing the experience of newsgathering and news consumption with wearables seems to be focused right now in these two areas:

  • News organizations are using them for new methods of video and image gathering. Wearables can be less obtrusive, creating opportunities for more intimate views of news events. Opportunities for live streaming what the journalist or another witness is seeing may make for dramatic breaking news coverage, as it did when Tim Pool of Vice used Glass to cover events in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • The hands-free aspect of wearables make alternative interview styles easier. They facilitate recording audio or video of an interview subject demonstrating, giving the audience a different point of view. Glass has also been used to document first-person experiences in a unique way, such as Victor Oladipo’s NBA draft day.

On a smaller scale, perhaps, the video translation or real-time mapping features of Glass and other wearables can become more useful to journalists in the field. CNN’s Victor Hernandez also speculates wearables could be the “next-gen IFB for feeding on-air talent information on the fly.”

Robert Hernandez says it’s too easy for journalists and newsrooms to avoid embracing technology trends, hating tech because in the beginning, it’s generally not perfect. But he says the profession will make a mistake if it doesn’t push to see the possibilities of wearable devices.

“We need to not fight this.”

5 Questions with Assistant Professor Robert Magee

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by drwenger
Photo by Marlen Polito.

Photo by Marlen Polito.

Robert Magee was born in Fort Worth, Texas and is an assistant professor of Integrated Marketing Communications, who just joined the faculty in August 2014.  Before coming to Ole Miss, he taught at Virginia Tech.  You can read all about his awards and education, but here’s what students will want to know:

1. What class do you most like to teach and why?

I enjoy teaching several classes; I enjoy teaching branding relationships, as well as consumer behavior, and also I enjoy teaching research methods and hands-on projects as well.

2. Describe your favorite type of student.

My favorite kind of student is the one who is not afraid to ask questions because that’s how we learn.

3. What are you working on outside the classroom that you really enjoy?

I really enjoy writing up some experiments that I am working on in IMC. I’m working on a project that tests how website colors can affect the way people think. I’m also working on a study of how nonprofit organizations’ social media content might influence the way followers respond.

4. Describe what type of student you were.

I was a curious student because I’m always interested in a variety of things.

5. Of all the things you’ve done in your career, what makes you most proud?

Oh, actually I think I would be most proud of being a husband and a father more than anything I’ve done in my career. Those are the things that really last!

Story contributed by multimedia journalism graduate student Marlen Polito