The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Faculty and Staff

Will Norton Jr.

Will Norton bwTitle: Professor and Dean
Phone: 662-915-7146

Will Norton Jr. is dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. He has been a visiting lecturer at Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was a board member of the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication, Pristina, Kosovo.

He served as president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (2000–01) and as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications (1989–90). He was vice president of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and is chair of the Accrediting Committee of ACEJMC. He has made more than 90 campus visits as a consultant, a member or chair of site teams of ACEJMC or as a state board program evaluator.

Norton is a partner in ownership of The South Reporter, Inc., Holly Springs, Miss., a corporation that publishes two newspapers and a total market publication. He was publisher of The Daily Iowan. He previously was on the staff of the Chicago Tribune and was sports editor of The Daily Journal, Wheaton, Ill. Norton is a trustee of the Freedom Forum, the Diversity Institute and the Newseum.

He was dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1990–2009) and interim chair and chair of the Department of Journalism at The University of Mississippi (1977–1990).  He was awarded a B.A. with honors in history from Wheaton College, a M.A. in mass communications from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Iowa.

Charles D. “Charlie” Mitchell

mitchell BW web

Title: Assistant Dean

Charlie Mitchell is assistant dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and an assistant professor. He is a 1975 graduate of Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a 1986 graduate of The University of Mississippi School of Law with a juris doctorate. He worked for The Vicksburg Post from 1975 until 1983 as a reporter and photographer and then as managing editor and executive editor from 1986 until August 2010. He was on the journalism faculty at the University of Mississippi from 1983 until 1986. He is a past president of the Mississippi Press Association and is a past president of the Mississippi-Louisiana Associated Press Managing Editors Association. His weekly column, Conversation, has won state and regional awards and also appears in more than 20 newspapers statewide. He also won  awards for his reporting from Iraq and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He is a member of the Warren County and Mississippi bar associations and is admitted to practice in state and federal courts.

Jeanni Atkins

Jeanni Atkins.B&W

Title: Associate Professor of Journalism and Executive Director, Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information

Jeanni Atkins completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  Since joining the faculty in 1986, she directed the graduate program for 15 years, has served on more than 60 thesis committees and has taught courses that reflect her broad interests in media law, history, public opinion, ethics, research, theory and copywriting.  While working at the Missouri Freedom of Information Center she developed a passion for media law and FOI, which led to a job in Washington, D.C. editing and writing about FOI and privacy. She helped found the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information and serves as executive director.  Her columns and editorials appear in state newspapers and have been cited by media outlets and blogs in other states.  She is writing a book on freedom of information. She enjoys traveling and has presented papers at international conferences in Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Israel and Wales as well as at national and regional journalism conferences.

Joseph B. Atkins

Title: Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5510

Joe Atkins, professor of journalism, has taught at The University of Mississippi since 1990. He teaches courses in Advanced Reporting, International Journalism, Ethics & Social Issues, Media History and Labor & Media. Atkins is the author of Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press, published by The University Press of Mississippi in 2008, and editor/contributing author of The Mission: Journalism, Ethics and the World, published by Iowa State University Press in 2002. He organized an international “Conference on Labor and the Southern Press” at Ole Miss in October 2003. A statewide columnist and 35-year veteran journalist, Atkins was congressional correspondent with Gannett News Service’s Washington, D.C. bureau for five years. He previously worked with newspapers in North Carolina and Mississippi. His articles have appeared in publications such as USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Progressive Populist, Southern Exposure, Quill and the Oxford American.


Shannon Dixon

dixon1_webTitle: Operations Supervisor
Phone: 662-915-8779

Shannon L. Dixon is operations supervisor of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She is chief of all administrative functions and her job responsibilities include supervising student workers, processing departmental scholarships, processing payroll and processing accounts payable.



Mark K. Dolan

dolan BW webTitle: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5397

Mark K. Dolan earned his Ph.D. in journalism and mass communications from the University of South Carolina in 2003. His teaching interests include new media, narrative journalism, photography and media law. He has worked with students on feature packages for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald (2006) and, most recently, on a Web documentary. His research areas include new media, cultural studies and literary journalism. Dolan’s work has appeared in the music Issue of Southern Cultures, published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill, and he is writing a book about blues in the black press to be published by the University Press of Mississippi. He has written for several daily newspapers, including the Savannah Morning News, the Naples Daily News and The (S.C.) State. Highlights from his newspaper work include interviews with novelists Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie.

Nancy McKenzie Dupont

dupont BW webTitle: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5396

Nancy McKenzie Dupont joined the faculty in 2006, after spending 17 years as a broadcast journalist and 13 years as a journalism educator. She has served as chair of the Radio-Television Journalism division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and chair of the news division of the Broadcast Education Association. In 2010, she was selected to be part of the inaugural class of academic fellows of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. She has published extensively about 19th-century Mississippi newspapers and other topics in journalism history. Dupont earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997.


Scott Fiene

fiene2_revisedTitle: Program Director and Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7195

Scott Fiene is assistant professor and the director of the undergraduate Integrated Marketing Communications program. Before joining the Meek School faculty in January 2012, he was owner of MagnaStar Marketing Group, a Des Moines, Iowa-based consulting firm specializing in marketing communications research, strategy and customer relationship building programs. He also has nearly two decades of corporate public relations and marketing communications experience, including a role as vice president of marketing with global insurance and financial services company Principal Financial Group. He has taught marketing and sales courses at the collegiate level for more than 15 years. Immediately before Ole Miss he taught in the College of Business at Drake University.

He is a member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi, past president of the Iowa Chapter of the American Marketing Association and has served on the board of the International Association of Business Communicators.

He majored in English and minored in journalism at the University of Iowa. He received his graduate degree in journalism and mass communications from Drake University, where his research was focused on integrated marketing communications.


Roy Frostenson

frostenson_BW_revisedTitle: Student Media Assistant Director
Phone: 662 915-5503

Roy Frostenson is assistant director at the Student Media Center, where his primary areas of responsibility are the radio station and advertising. He has more than 30 years experience in broadcasting as a reporter, news director and general manager at network- affiliated TV stations in Monroe, Louisiana and Eureka, California. He was executive producer for an investigative series that won an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University award for excellence. He served as president of the Louisiana AP Broadcasters Association. He has a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and he was an adjunct instructor in journalism at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  He joined student media in 2013. He teaches media sales.


Vanessa Gregory

gregory_web1Title: Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5503

Vanessa Gregory began teaching at the University of Mississippi in 2010. She is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in a number of regional and national publications, including The New York TimesAfar,National Geographic TravelerMen’s Journal and Outside. In 2010, she was awarded a Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism. Previously, she worked as a newspaper reporter at The Bakersfield Californian. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also participated in News21, an in-depth reporting program funded by the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.


Mikki Harris

harris BW webTitle: Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7127

A graduate of Spelman College with a degree in economics, Mikki K. Harris is a multimedia journalist with special interest in documentary photography. Before completing her graduate degree in journalism at Boston University, Harris worked six years as a technology consultant for Accenture, a global information technology firm, affording her ground-up skill sets that contribute to her innovation in multimedia story telling. Harris has captured narratives that have given her the opportunity to document images ranging from President Barack Obama to Condoleeza Rice; George W. Bush to the Clintons; the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; Olympic Gold Medalists Charles Barkley and Vonetta Flowers; and the photo-shy Jimmy Carter. Harris has served as a Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute, and has had images featured in USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Newark Star-Ledger, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sports Illustrated and The New York Daily News among other media outlets. Two of her images illustrating life in Harlem were exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY in 2005.


Summer Hill-Vinson

Summer Hill-Vinson BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7146

Summer Hill-Vinson earned her Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri and both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in journalism from the University of Mississippi. Prior to returning to Mississippi, she taught journalism courses at the University of Missouri and Middle Tennessee State University. Hill-Vinson’s research area is journalism during the civil rights movement, specifically the relationships between newspapers and magazines and their audiences in the American South. Her dissertation told the story of the launch of Southern Living magazine in the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama. Before graduate school, Hill-Vinson was a production editor in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently publishes a blog about premature babies.


Paula Hurdle

hurdle2_webTitle: Receptionist/Secretary
Phone: 662-915-7146

Paula Hurdle has a degree in business administration from UT Martin and is certified to teach business classes in grades 7-12 .  She taught school for 21 1/2 years.  Her responsibilities include maintaining the phone system, completing travel authorizations and reimbursements for faculty, and facilitating other day-to-day office activities.  Paula is married to Troy Hurdle, and they have twin daughters, Hannah and Elizabeth.


Samir A. Husni

husni BW webTitle: Director, Magazine Innovation Center, Professor and Hederman Lecturer
Phone: 662-915-1414, 662-832-6247

Samir A. Husni is “the country’s leading magazine expert,” according to Forbes ASAP magazine; “the nation’s leading authority on new magazines,” according to min:media industry newsletter; and “a world-renowned expert on print journalism,” according to “CBS News Sunday Morning.” The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “the planet’s leading expert on new magazines.” Husni holds a doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. Read Samir Husni’s blog.

Deidra Jackson

jackson2Title: Director of Academic Advising/Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-1547

Deidra Jackson is director of academic advising and an instructor of journalism. She began her career at UM in 2000 as a communications specialist in Media & PR and joined the journalism faculty in 2005. Before returning to Ole Miss, she was editor of the Triangle Tribune in Durham, N.C. and a reporter for the News & Observer in its Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C. bureaus. A print journalist and broadcast personality for some 20 years, she writes a column for the Oxford Eagle and has been a blogger for AOL’s popular

She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and serves as adviser to its student affiliate, the UM Association of Black Journalists.

She majored in journalism and minored in broadcasting at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, where she cemented her love for the printed word, and received her graduate degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi.

Darrel Jordan

jordan BW webTitle: Chief Engineer
Phone: 915-2046

Darrel B. Jordan is the Chief Engineer for the School of Journalism and the Student Media Center at the University of Mississippi.  He has worked in television and radio since 1983.  Prior to coming to Ole Miss he worked as Chief Engineer for KLAX-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana and as Assistant Chief Engineer at WXEL-TV and FM radio in West Palm Beach, Florida.  He received his BS in Electronic Engineering Technology from Northwestern State University in 1982.  Darrel joined the Ole Miss family in 1991.


Cynthia Joyce

joyce2Title: Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 915-8787

Cynthia Joyce has been a writer, editor, and web producer for more than 15 years and has contributed to several regional and national publications, including The Washington Post, Newsday,, Entertainment Weekly, and, where she was a senior producer from 2007-2011;, where she worked briefly as a producer post-Katrina; and Salon, where she was arts and entertainment editor from 1995-2000. She received her BA from Duke University in 1991, and her Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University in 1993.  She joined the Ole Miss faculty in 2011.


Maury S. Lane

Maury Lane BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

Maury S. Lane, is the President of Burson Campaigns, the corporate issues management unit of Burson-Marsteller based in Memphis, Tennessee. Burson Campaigns specializes in helping corporations and individuals manage issues critical to reputation, business operations and development with integrated marketing and messaging campaigns. Prior to joining Burson Campaigns, Lane served as Director of Issues, Crisis and Public Affairs Communications for FedEx Corporation, where he led and counseled strategic crisis, issues and public affairs communications planning and execution of those programs for FedEx in 220 counties, seven operating companies and four world-wide regions. Before joining FedEx, Lane was President and Principal at Hill Country Communications, a full-service agency serving companies in telecommunications, public affairs, manufacturing, high-tech and media fields. He’s also served as chief strategist and lobbyist for Westinghouse Corp. in its acquisition of CBS and Infinity Broadcasting. Lane also worked for U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings as Communications Director where he drove international strategic media planning, including national public relations, public affairs grassroots efforts and media management for the senator’s re-election campaign, personal office and Senate Commerce Committee.


James Lumpp

lumpp BW webTitle: Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-2030

James Lumpp is an assistant professor and director – also one of the designers and founders – of the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program. He teaches primarily Outreach courses that are transmitted via compressed video to regional campuses.

Jim is an IMC veteran with more than 30 years’ experience on both client and agency sides of the business, and he insists he’s still innovating! He spent two years in advertising management with Du Pont, and a total of eleven years as vice-president of research with agencies near Kansas City and in Atlanta. In 1994, he formed his own marketing research consulting business; two years later, he also began teaching part-time at Ole Miss.

Specializing in qualitative techniques, he has moderated 1,700 focus groups and conducted personal interviews with thousands of people from diverse walks of life. He has served 300 clients nationwide – including several Fortune 100 companies: AT&T, Costco, GE, Georgia-Pacific, Honeywell, Intel, and Motorola.

He has a B.A. from Knox College, an M.S. from Illinois, and a Ph.D. at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, in addition to post-graduate work at Maryland (Viet-nam), Delaware and Illinois State.


Robert Magee

Robert MageeTitle: Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7566

Robert Magee conducts experimental research in persuasion and new media. His persuasion research tests how people’s worldviews and values influence their responses to marketing communications. Research in new media demonstrates how characteristics of Web interfaces can affect attitudes and behavior by influencing cognitive processes.

Magee is the author of Persuasion: A Social Science Approach. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Marketing Letters, Media Psychology, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, Journal of Health Communication, and Ethics and Information Technology, among others. He has also won top paper awards from the Communication Technology division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Magee has a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, an M.A. from the University of Miami, an M.A. from Vanderbilt University, and a B.B.A. (magna cum laude) from Belmont University.


Ellen Meacham

meacham BW webTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7535

Ellen Meacham is a 1990 graduate of The University of Mississippi’s journalism department. She has worked as an award-winning newspaper reporter in North Mississippi and for the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier, where she covered the courts and legal issues. In 2003 Meacham earned a master’s degree in Southern Studies, examining the impact of Southern culture on domestic violence legislation in South Carolina for her thesis. She returned to Ole Miss in 2003 to teach reporting and was one of only 20 journalism educators from across the nation selected in 2005 to participate as a fellow in the American Society of Newspaper Editors Institute for Journalism Excellence. As part of the fellowship, she worked at the Baton Rouge Advocate.While at Ole Miss she has twice served as advisor to The Daily Mississippian. In 2009 was honored with the Thomas Frist Award for Outstanding Service to Students. Her research is focused on Robert Kennedy’s 1967 visit to the Mississippi Delta.


Jade Maharrey

maharrey_BW_revisedTitle: Student Media Administrative Assistant
Phone: 662-915-5503

Jade Maharrey is administrative assistant at the Student Media Center. Before joining the staff in 2013, she worked as the assistant to the directors of general and organic chemistry instruction at the University of Georgia. She received her English from the University of Mississippi, where she minored in journalism and worked for NewsWatch.



Rick Mize

Rick Mize BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7146

Rick Mize is an adjunct instructor for the School of Journalism joining the staff in 2010. He is also the General Manager of WQLJ-WTNM in Oxford and has been since 1998. His interest in radio began in 1976 with a weekly high school radio show on WSUH/WOOR-Oxford alongside longtime friend and Rebel Sportscaster David Kellum. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi in 1981 and followed with thirty-four years of experience in the radio industry working in Memphis, Biloxi, Holly Springs and Oxford. His list of broadcasting awards include CMA National Program Director of the Year/Small Market (1989), CMA Personality of the Year/Small Market (1991), Mississippi Association of Broadcasters’ Personality of the Year (1992) and Finalist for Billboard/Airplay Monitor National Personality of the Year(1996). He has numerous production awards from the MAB and the AAF. He is a Lifetime Member of the Country Music Association. The City of Gulfport presented him with the Patriotism Award in 1991 for his radio efforts at WKNN to serve the military community and families along the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Operation Desert Storm.


Ronnie “R.J.” Morgan

RJMorgan12-1Title: Instructor and Director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association
Phone: 662-915-7146

Ronnie “R.J.” Morgan received his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Mississippi State University. He was previously teaching at Starkville (MS) High School, where he received honors including STAR Teacher, Third Congressional District Teacher of the Year, the Paul Cuicchi Innovative Educator Award and MSPA Teacher of the Year (three times). His media experience includes writing for The Associated Press, Sporting News, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and The Commercial Appeal.


Mykki Newton

newton BW webTitle: Videographer/Editor
Phone: 662-915-7581

Mykki Newton produces documentaries and videos for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Mykki has a BA in Communications, a MFA in Theater and studied at both The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and The Actor’s Studio in New York City. With more than 30-years professional experience as a broadcast journalist, actor and filmmaker, Mykki is available to assist all journalism students with everything from anchoring to videography. Contact Mykki’s office if you need video equipment for your class projects.


Debra Lynn Novak

novak_BW_revisedTitle: Student Media Creative Services Manager
Phone: 662-915-5503

Debra Novak joined the Student Media Center in 2012 as the creative services manager. She supervises students who design advertising for The Daily Mississippian. She worked for the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan for 30 years, where she managed more than 60 marketing/advertising projects each year. She served for 20 years as a graphics design advisory member for curriculum at the Kent County Technical Center in Michigan. She has a B.A. degree from Central Michigan University. She teaches an advertising design class.


Mary Helen Randall

Mary Helen Randall BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

Mary Helen Randall is the senior vice president of Burson Campaigns, a division of Burson-Marsteller, based in Memphis, Tennessee. At Burson, Randall works with clients to help each fulfill public relations, media relations, and digital and online goals, especially in the elements of client media training and crisis management. Before joining Burson Campaigns, Randall served as the director of social media and as public relations manager for Sullivan Branding, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Memphis and Nashville. There, she delivered comprehensive, integrated digital and social media strategies and campaigns for clients in the areas of retail, banking, tourism and higher education. 

For five years before joining Sullivan Branding, Randall served as the editor-in-chief of Memphis Magazine, overseeing the magazine’s redesign and helping launch its ancillary publication, Memphis Business Quarterly. Randall has also served as editor-in-chief for RSVP Magazine and oversaw the redesign of 4Memphis magazine as its chief editorial consultant.


Evangeline W. Robinson

robinson BW webTitle: Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-5447

Evangeline W. Robinson began teaching integrated marketing communications courses in the Meek School in 2012. She has 17 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit marketing communications. She has worked for Wonders: The Memphis International Cultural Series; the Metropolitan Community Colleges Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri; the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles and Jackson State University. She received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a master’s degree in history from Jackson State. She received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi.


LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7146

LaReeca Rucker graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1997 with a degree in English, print and broadcast journalism. She has spent more than 20 years as a Mississippi journalist and a decade as a reporter with The Clarion-Ledger, the state’s largest newspaper, covering everything from crime and religion, to the arts and culture beat. Rucker has won more than 40 awards for writing, photography and page design, primarily from the Mississippi Press Association, and a two-week fellowship to the University of Maryland to study child and policy issues. Her work has been distributed by The Associated Press and Gannett News Service to newspapers and websites across the country, including USA Today, New Jersey’s Daily Record, South Dakota’s Argus Leader, New York’s Poughkeepsie Journal, The Delaware News Journal, Louisiana’s The Town Talk, The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, The North Mississippi Daily Journal, The Hattiesburg American, The Mobile Press Register, Mississippi Magazine, and numerous blogs and industry publications. She currently writes for The Oxford Eagle and The ‘Sip, a statewide lifestyle magazine covering interesting people in Mississippi. She maintains a blog called What’s Hip in the ‘Sip (at and a personal website (at Rucker, who teaches multimedia journalism, just completed work on a documentary project about casinos in Mississippi. She is currently conducting research for a project about the generational differences of journalists and hopes to begin work on another documentary and book project soon.


Bill Rose

rose BW webTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-1716

Bill Rose joined the journalism faculty at the University of Mississippi after a 40-year career as a professional journalist. Much of that time was spent with The Miami Herald, where Rose covered city and county government and the governor’s race before going to Atlanta for five years to cover the South. Upon returning to the Miami newsroom, Rose became deputy city editor, then national editor, directing bureaus in Atlanta, Washington and New York as well as coverage of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, the Atlanta prison riots and national politics. He then became editor of Tropic, The Herald’s Sunday magazine, which won two Pulitzers. Rose closed out his career as managing editor of The Palm Beach Post, where his staff produced two Pulitzer finalists and sent two county commissioners to prison for corruption unearthed by the newspaper. A graduate of The University of Mississippi, Rose got his start as a reporter for the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville, where he covered local government, federal courts and politics. He served as a Pulitzer juror in 2007-2008. Rose won a Green Eyeshade award for coverage of a deadly coal mine disaster in Tennessee, a Paul Hansell FSNE Award for the best work by a Florida newspaper reporter and a Best of Cox award for coverage of Hurricane Lili. Rose runs The Delta Project, a course in which students report on poverty in the Delta and produce magazines documenting their findings.


Darren Sanefski

sanefski BW webTitle: Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-2031

Darren Sanefski has an extensive news design and marketing background. He received his master of arts (interactive design) from the State University of New York at Oswego and a bachelor of fine arts (visual communication) from Syracuse University.

He was on the faculty at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University from 2005 until 2011 and has been an adjunct during summers 2012 and 2013. During his time at Newhouse his 2011 Military Visual Journalism class won an AEJMC Best of the Web, Second Place.

Sanefski worked for The Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse, NY. Most recently, he was the paper’s sports design editor and designed interactive sports graphics for its sister website,

He runs a freelance marketing and graphic design business, DMS Design Studio, where he designs for national and regional companies on a variety of projects. His current and past clients include, Boeing, Pacificare, Syracuse University, Blue Highway Inc., LeMoyne College, the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, Perimetek Pest Management and Neilson’s Department Store.

Sanefski is often hired to consult and/or present at design and/or marketing seminars and workshops. He has won numerous national and international awards for his images and designs.

He serves on the board of The Society of News Design Foundation as education director.

Bradley E. Schultz

schultz BW webTitle: Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5161

Dr. Brad Schultz is an Associate Professor specializing in broadcast and television news. He has written five books on broadcasting and/or sports, and authored nearly two dozen scholarly articles. Dr. Schultz has produced two sports documentaries, both of which have appeared on Mississippi Public Television. “The Season: Oxford Chargers” won a national Aurora award as best sports documentary. Dr. Schultz is the creator and former editor of the Journal of Sports Media, and in 2011 was elected Vice Chair of the Sports Interest Group of AEJMC. He lives in Oxford and is a campus lay minister and deacon at Peace Lutheran Church. View list of publications.


Chris Canty Sparks

Chris Canty SparksTitle: Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

Chris Canty Sparks is an assistant professor of Integrated Marketing Communications, teaching several courses in the IMC curriculum. Sparks received her Master of Business Administration degree from the Owen Graduate School of Business at Vanderbilt University and bachelor’s degrees in both Marketing and in Management at the University of Mississippi.

Most recently, she has been a senior manager for new business development for the Atlanta Regional Office of Ogilvy & Mather, where she has also been management supervisor and senior account director for the No. 3 worldwide communications and integrated marketing creative agency. She has successfully led 360 marketing campaigns for clients including Coca-Cola, Honest Tea, AMC Theatres, Royal Caribbean and Reimagine Recycling. Canty’s career also  includes 17 years with the Coca-Cola Company managing brand marketing campaigns and leading new brand introductions into the U.S. market.


Alysia Steele

steele revised BWTitle:  Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-2096

Alysia Steele received her master’s degree in photography, with an emphasis in multimedia management from Ohio University in 2010. She has worked as a staff photographer/multimedia producer at The Columbus Dispatch, a picture editor at The Dallas Morning News and a deputy director of photography at The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. She has shot documentary work for Habitat for Humanity and The Columbus Dispatch in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. In 2006, she was part of the photo team that won the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for their Hurricane Katrina coverage where she served as a picture editor. While at Ohio University, she was the first student to produce her master’s project as an interactive pdf, a format that embedded audio and video–long before iPads were released. For the last three years, Steele has done the picture editing and layout/design for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Classic coffee table book, picture editing for the National Urban League and official photography and poster design for Lifeline of Ohio, an organization that specializes in organ donation. She has won numerous awards for her photography and picture editing.

Robin Street

street BW webTitle: Lecturer in Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5081

Robin Street has been a lecturer in journalism and public relations at the University of Mississippi for 20 years.  She primarily teaches public relations and feature writing.

Street is president and co-founder of the Oxford/Ole Miss chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.  (PRAM). Her public relations works have won more than 20 awards from PRAM and the Southern Public Relations Federation. In 2011, a campaign she and her students put on called “Diversity Rocks” won best in show at both PRAM and SPRF. It is was the runner-up for  Silver Anvil award given by the Public Relations Society of America. The Silver Anvil is considered the Oscar of the PR business.

Street was named “PR Educator of the Year” by both PRAM and SPRF in 2009.

In 2006, she won the “Strong Woman” award for mentorship from Baptist Women’s Services.

Street is also a freelance journalist specializing in writing about fitness, preventive health, nutrition and mental health. She holds both a M.A. degree in journalism and a M.S. degree in wellness from Ole Miss.

She has published more than 75 health articles in The Clarion-Ledger. In addition, her articles have appeared in leading national magazines such as Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Cooking Light, Writer’s Digest, & Golf for Women. 

Kristen Alley Swain

swain BW webTitle: Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7637

Kristie Swain teaches reporting, media ethics, theory, and public opinion. With a professional background in print journalism, she has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, the Oxford (Miss.) Eagle, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, Miss., and the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News and served as a managing editor for the world’s first university-based online newspaper at University of Florida. Her research focuses on science communication with an emphasis on effective health communication campaign design and risk framing in news. As part of her health campaign research about the role of black churches in HIV prevention, she served as strategic communications consultant for the 16-county North Central Florida AIDS Network. Her recent projects examined news coverage of the anthrax attacks, environmental justice, Sub-Saharan AIDS, and sea-level rise. Her work has appeared in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journal of Risk Analysis and Crisis Response, and other international journals and books. The recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Service Award in Sustainability at Ole Miss, Swain has served in leadership roles on NIH and national security grants, coordinated student video production for PBS Planet Forward, and served as the director of a science journalism center and on the Ole Miss STEM Innovation Task Force. She has a Ph.D. from University of Florida, an M.A. from University of Alabama, and a B.A. from Ole Miss.

Patricia Thompson

thompson_BW_REVISEDTitle: Director of Student Media/Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5504

Patricia “Pat” Thompson oversees the editorial and advertising students and staff who produce The Daily Mississippian, The Ole Miss yearbook, NewsWatch Ch. 99, Rebel Radio WUMS 92.1 and several websites. She is faculty adviser for The Daily Mississippian, and teaches writing and editing courses. She led a multimedia journalism project that won the 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Award for college journalism. She has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning journalist — as a staff writer at The Washington Post and as a senior editor at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the San Jose Mercury News. She was part of the Mercury News staff awarded the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for general news reporting. She was an assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she taught classes and directed programs. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was a Presidential Scholar, a Curators Scholar, and inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha and Mortar Board honor societies. She has been actively involved with ACEJMC journalism accreditation work for many  years, and served on the national accreditation committee for six years and on accreditation appeals boards.


Mike Tonos

tonos BW webTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5505

Michael Tonos has spent nearly 40 years in the media and communications business, primarily newspapers. Over his 35-year newspaper career, he has served as executive editor of The Sun Herald in Biloxi-Gulfport and managing editor at The Sun Herald, the Vicksburg Post and, most recently, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo. He also owns JMT Consulting, a public relations firm. A native of Greenville, Tonos has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as president of the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors and as a board member for the Mississippi Press Association. He and his wife, Jane, live in Tupelo.


Debora Halpern Wenger

wengerTitle: Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7912
Twitter: @dhwenger

Deb Halpern Wenger, a 17-year broadcast news veteran, is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in journalism at the University of Mississippi.  Prior to her academic appointments, Wenger was assistant news director at WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla.  Wenger conducts multimedia training in newsrooms around the country and is coauthor of the broadcast, online and multimedia journalism curricula for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Newsroom Training Program. She is also  co-author of the book, “Advancing the Story:  Broadcast Journalism in a Multimedia World.” Her thoughts about new media can be found at  Listen to a recent podcast from Sage Publications on what her research suggests for broadcast journalism programs. View list of publications.


Kathleen Woodruff Wickham

wickham_webTitle: Associate Professor of Journalism

Dr. Wickham teaches Advanced Reporting, Media Ethics, Feature Writing Press & Civil Rights and Honors 101 &102 while also serving as a faculty fellow at the South Residential College and primary academic adviser for Honors College journalism majors. Dr. Wickham is a former newspaper reporter from New Jersey who joined the faculty in 1999 after teaching at the University of Memphis for more than a decade. In 2008 the Society of Professional Journalists named her the national Outstanding Faculty Adviser for her work with the campus SPJ chapter. Other honors include being invited to help judge the National Headliner Journalism Awards for the last four years, serving as chair of the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and on the editorial board of Newspaper Research Journal. Dr. Wickham has published four books and numerous academic articles and is currently researching the lives of the reporters present on campus during the 1962 integration crisis for a book under consideration by a university press. Her research in this area led to SPJ naming the Ole Miss campus a national historic site in journalism in honor of the 300+ plus reporters on campus during the crisis. View list of publications.

Curtis Wilkie

Title: Overby Fellow, Associate Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-1707

A 1963 graduate of The University of Mississippi with a degree in journalism, Wilkie worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for nearly 40 years. Most of his career was spent as a national and foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe. Following his retirement, he began teaching at Ole Miss in 2002. He has written for many national magazines and is the author of three books, most recently “The Fall of the House of Zeus,” published by Random House in October 2010.