The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Dr. Samir Husni presents “Hottest Magazine Launches of the Year” at min awards

Posted on: December 4th, 2015 by ewrobins

Husni 2015 min awardsmin hosted its annual Most Intriguing Awards Celebration on Thursday, December 3 at New York’s Grand Hyatt to honor this year’s Most Intriguing People in Media, Rising Stars and the Hottest Magazine Launches of the Year. The 30 magazine launches were selected by Dr. Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at The University of Mississippi, and honored new magazines, from Catster to Mornings with Jesus.

The premier categories honored Editor and Publisher of the Year. Catherine Cassidy from Taste of Home was chosen as Editor of the Year and was introduced by fellow colleague and Most Intriguing recipient, Bonnie Kintzer from Trusted Media Brands. Accepting the award for Publisher of the Year was Steven Grune from Allrecipes. Also at the awards celebration, Dr. Husni revealed “THE” single hottest launch as Simple Grace.

Mr. Magazine’s 30 Hottest Consumer Magazine Launches of 2015

Meek photos tell an important story

Posted on: December 4th, 2015 by ewrobins

riotIn 1962, the University of Mississippi became the center of the universe for racial progress in America when federal courts and President John F. Kennedy forced the state to start providing the basic legal rights of citizenship to all citizens.

The enrollment of African-American veteran James Meredith was met with resistance, but started a process of reconciliation that continues to this day.

Dr. Ed Meek was on campus during those days and had his camera. For the first time, his photos are assembled in a book with Ole Miss Professor Curtis Wilkie, a student at the time, providing a written narrative.

The book, “Riot,” has been widely praised by critics for bringing context to a crucial moment in American history.

All proceeds from the book go to support journalism education at Ole Miss. Copies are available at bookstores or online at

Alumni Update: Karen Crenshaw Swenson (’78)

Posted on: December 1st, 2015 by ewrobins

Karen SwensonAfter being away from Ole Miss for almost 40 years, I returned last month to visit my alma mater and the journalism program that was so dear to me from 1974 through 1978. As I was walking around campus, I was continually reminded of a poem written about an Atlanta suburb that says, “Some of the past is gone. Some of the past remains.”

My returning to the university and embracing what the school stands for had been a gradual process. In 2002 I tuned in to a weeklong broadcast on NPR detailing changes that had taken place since James Meredith was admitted.

For my visit to Ole Miss, I intentionally parked across the street from what was previously the tiny, white, one-story Brady Hall that housed the journalism department; this is where I had a part-time $2.80-an-hour reporter job a few hours each week at The Daily Mississippian. My mentor and former adviser, Dr. Will Norton, now the first dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, took me on a brief tour of the campus.

More than the many beautiful new buildings and landscaping, I was surprised by the diversity and larger crowds of students who passed by me as we walked from the Journalism School to the spacious, modern S. Gale Denley Student Media Center, named for one of my professors. We stopped at the James Meredith statue, walked through the Paris-Yates Chapel and Johnson Commons, visited the Student Union Starbucks and went back to the Journalism School. I later learned that the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement would move into the renovated Student Union.

I had wondered for years, deep within me, how much had really changed at Ole Miss. I have looked at the university website weekly for the last eight years. I was thrilled a few years ago to see that an African-American woman had been elected ASB president, the same year that two black women had been chosen Homecoming Queen and Miss University. “Could it really be that different?” I had asked myself.

I was told by those with first-hand experiences with minority students at Ole Miss that there are still some cruelties communicated to them through social media, more so than verbal insults of yesteryear. Two persons I visited said that what had happened at Missouri could have happened at Ole Miss. I knew that in the last 10 years there had been several forums at the university with open and ongoing communication among persons of all backgrounds and cultures. These were led by forward-thinking students, professors and administrators — definitely a step in the right direction.

I also visited the Burns-Belfry Museum and Multicultural Center in Oxford. The two tour guides told me that, for them, Oxford was “worth coming home to.” They had returned from New York and Washington, DC, to a place they now call “a gem of a city in the state of Mississippi.”

In the last three months I have read Robert Khayat’s book The Education of a Lifetime and Ronald Farrar’s Powerhouse: The Story of the Meek School at Ole Miss. In 1974 and 1975, I had ridden to the Society of Professional Journalists meetings in Jackson with Dr. Farrar, my former news reporting professor, and Dr. Ed Meek. This is how I knew them best — through humorous and interesting stories I overheard as I dozed alone in the back seat of the car.

Many Ole Miss professors and former students have published books and written for noteworthy newspapers. I have read the book The Hit by Dr. Jere Hoar. During our visit to Oxford, my sister and I looked at Ed Meek’s book Riot: Witness to Anger and Change with Larry Wells, the book’s co-editor, and publisher of Yoknapatawpha Press. I have read the writings of former Daily Mississippian staff writers Fred Anklam and Dennis Moore, previously at USA Today; Stephanie Saul and Greg Brock, formerly at the New York Times; Mac DeMere, formerly automobile reviewer at Car and Driver; as well as Susan Puckett, formerly food editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. My pride in the then-journalism department and today’s journalism school students and professors abounds.

While driving from Atlanta to Oxford, I was listening to John Grisham’s Gray Mountain, a book about strip mining in Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia. This book reminded me of the story in the annually student-published Ole Miss Magazine in 1978 about strip mining in Mississippi. And I remembered the article that I wrote about the then-newly built Lamar Law Center in that same publication; now the Robert Khayat Law School is open. I experienced another change with my ADPi sorority sisters — with several minority members — during our visit to their new house.

I had attended public and independent high schools in the early 1970s when desegregation took place throughout the South. Through Dr. Andy Mullins (my former history teacher at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Jackson and former Chief of Staff to Chancellors Robert Khayat and Dan Jones), I learned about the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.

As a child in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s, I would watch television each night and read The Clarion Ledger each day, establishing the roots of my love of journalism and writing. Occasionally, having viewed (on television) the police and dogs attacking the black people who were being forcefully hosed away from restaurants and shops, I would wake up in the middle of the night terrified that “those mean white people” might come get me because I, a white girl, empathized with what the black people were experiencing. Deep down, I truly admired them.

Fortunately, my childhood bad dreams of race riots stopped, about 37 years ago, near the time when the first African-American man, “Gentle Ben” Williams, was elected then-Colonel Rebel. This was the same time period I attended journalism school with Rose Jackson Flenorl.

As a former journalist, then hospital public relations manager and, now, librarian for the last 25 years, I have used the skills I learned at the Department of Journalism every day and in every avenue of my life. I am pleased with the changes and growth at Ole Miss. I also am proud of the minority students’ continued courage and perseverance, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunities and knowledge I’ve gained through it all.

Karen Crenshaw Swenson,


Alumni Update: Renate Ferreira (’04, ’05)

Posted on: November 17th, 2015 by ewrobins
Renate Ferreira Oath 2

Renate Ferreira accepts her Certificate of Naturalization from the Honorable Arthur B. Federman, United States judge, after taking the Oath of Allegiance.

By Darby Hennessey

South African native Renate Ferreira, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the University of Mississippi, was awarded United States citizenship in May after living 17 years in the states, ending a journey that began when her father accepted a job on campus.

Ferreira’s family left South African in 1998 after her father, Daneel Ferreira, accepted a job at the Thad Cochran National Center for Natural Products Research. Ferreira did not apply for citizenship until May 2015, was approved on August 17, and had her Oath ceremony on Sept. 24 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Words can’t really do justice to the emotions I felt on becoming a citizen,” Ferreira said. “The place I had called home for the last 17 years claimed me as a US citizen. That is a really great feeling.”

The ceremony was the last step in a long process. Because of complex immigration laws, the path to citizenship is often difficult, but different for every applicant. In Ferreira’s case, in simple terms, she was not eligible for citizenship until 2011 because of her status as a student, but she decided to wait until 2015 to apply officially in order to avoid extensive paperwork.

Renate Ferreira and Husband

Ferreira stands with her husband, Desmond Slade, outside of the Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri, after the ceremony.

“It was a long journey, but one I would gladly follow all over again,” she said. “I knew I wanted to become a citizen from the first time I had set foot in Oxford.”

Ferreira completed her Bachelor of Arts in 2004, and went on to earn a Master of Arts with a journalism emphasis in 2005. She also worked at The Daily Mississippian as an advertisement designer during her undergraduate years and the creative manager as a graduate student. Although she already had a bachelor’s degree in South Africa and worked in the medical field, her family’s move gave her an opportunity for a career change.

“I have always been artistically inclined and felt that I wanted a career where I could apply that creative part of me to the fullest,” she said. “Ole Miss brought many, many new opportunities and I am grateful for the education it gave me.”

While a graduate student, Ferreira took journalism classes from Dr. James Lumpp, assistant professor.

“She was very refreshing to have in class,” Lumpp said. “She had a lot of things to say. She was one of the best graduate students we ever had.”

Today, Ferreira lives in Kansas City with her husband, Desmond Slade. They met at Ole Miss. Although she has moved away from Mississippi, Oxford still holds an important place in her life.

“Simply put, Ole Miss played a tremendous role in my journey to citizenship as well as my personal development and growth,” she said. “Oxford and Ole Miss hold my dearest memories.”

Alumnus Clinton Smith releases new book

Posted on: November 6th, 2015 by ewrobins

Clint Smith croppedMeek School graduate Clinton Smith (’99) signed copies of his new book, “Veranda: The Romance of Flowers,” in Oxford recently. Smith, an award-winning journalist, is editor in chief of VERANDA magazine.

Meek School student writes about flag controversy for NBC

Posted on: October 29th, 2015 by cjoyce

Ann-Marie Herod writes about flag removal for NBC BLK The recent decision to remove the MS state flag from campus thrust Ole Miss once more into the national media spotlight — but this time it was students leading efforts for change, as well as leading media coverage of the events.

In a powerful essay written for NBC News, “Your Heritage is Hate: Take Down the State Flag at Ole Miss,” Meek School student Ann-Marie Herod lamented what the flag has meant for her personally as an ambassador for the university:

“There was a time where we were not wanted at this University. To some that may have been fifty years ago, to others that may have been just a few years ago, and for me it was just last week…every week I face the challenge of convincing students why they should come to Ole Miss. It makes my job ten times harder when I have to convince minority students to see beyond the confederate flags that are literally in every tent during home games.”

Read the full essay here.


Natalie Moore working at Bar-Z in Austin, Texas

Posted on: October 28th, 2015 by ewrobins

Natalie MooreNatalie Moore (’14) is project and marketing manager at Bar-Z, a mobile app firm in Austin, Texas. She took the position in September 2014 to learn more about the digital realm of publishing with the hope to rejoin the journalism industry with this knowledge.

Her work is assigned to two departments: marketing and production.

On the production side, she works with newspapers and magazines to help them develop their digital products. Most of these are niche publications like visitor guides and high school sports apps. She guides them through the Bar-Z process and trains them on their Drupal CMS.

“This has been very eye opening since I get to see some more of the individual voice of each publication,” she wrote Dr. Samir Husni. “It has been a wonderful extension of my Morris internship because it has shown me more of how the industry works.

“On the marketing side, I have a variety of duties. I manage our social media and write content for our blog. I also assist customers with marketing tactics and write news releases for them. There is a lot of copy-editing involved, as well.”

Moore was a management intern at Morris Communications in Augusta, Georgia, during the summer of 2014. She was a public relations intern at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal from February 2014 through May 2014 and a WHOAwomen Magazine intern from January 2014 through May 2014. From April 2013 through May 2014, she was a design editor for The Daily Mississippian, and campus and city news reporter from August 2010 through March 2012.

“I am thankful to Professor Samir Husni for passing along his wisdom,” she wrote. “I find myself telling clients a lot of what I was taught in his classes.”

Mary Elizabeth Kakales and Heather Nielson experience life on the Hill

Posted on: October 28th, 2015 by ewrobins

By Marlen Polito

Neilson and Kakales 2015

Mary Elizabeth Kakales and Heather Nielson

Mary Elizabeth Kakales, Miss Ole Miss 2015, and Heather Nielson, 2015 Homecoming Queen, share more than a love for the University of Mississippi. Kakales, a public policy leadership major, and Nielson, an integrated marketing communications major, both had the opportunity to intern on Capital Hill in Washington D.C., last the summer.

“It is not every day that you get to see the people leading our nation in action,” said Nielson, a native of Oxford, Mississippi.

Nielson worked for Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. Her internship consisted of giving tours, answering phone calls, and meeting presidential candidates. One of the many things Nielson enjoyed at the Hill was hearing the concerns of Mississippians and the issues people faced on a daily basis.

“Working there this summer really made me appreciate what all our senators do for our state,” Nielson said.

Kakales, who is from Memphis, Tennessee, worked for the U.S. House of Representatives and Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher.

“It is so fast paced. There’s so much to do, so much to see,” Kakales said. “I learned more than I ever anticipated about how our government works and about current events.”

Kakales had the opportunity to go to briefings, receptions and different events.

“It was crazy. I walked outside and saw the Supreme Court during a major court hearing,” Kakales said. “We got to experience history.”

Nielson said that several experiences helped prepare her for her internship, including watching briefings and hearings online, attending her communications law class, and learning how to write and format a press release.

“The thing that prepared me the most for my internship was being involved with Associated Student Body on campus,” Nielson said.

Nielson’s favorite part was being able to meet so many influential people.

“I rode the senate subway with the Majority Leader of the Senate, got to meet presidential candidates and make new friends that I keep in touch with everyday,” Neilson said.

Alumni Update: Josh Ellis

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by ewrobins

Josh EllisJosh Ellis, a 2008 graduate of the Meek School of Journalism originally from Longview, Texas, has been promoted to editor-in-chief of SUCCESS. A legacy publication founded in 1897, SUCCESS is a national service magazine covering entrepreneurship along with personal and career development. It boasts a print and digital subscription base of over 500,000 and a combined social following of 4 million. Ellis joined the magazine in 2012 as its features editor.

Alumni Update: Josh Miller

Posted on: October 8th, 2015 by ewrobins

Josh MillerJosh Miller (’02) is now the editor in chief of two magazines published by Hoffman Media, Taste of the South and Southern Cast Iron.