The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi


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: Associate Dean and Associate Professor
Phone: 662-915-7146

Charlie Mitchell is associate dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and an associate 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 court.


Jennifer Simmons

Jennifer Simmons bwTitle: Assistant Dean for Student Services
Phone: 662-915-1547

Jennifer Simmons is originally from New Albany, Mississippi. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from The University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Arts in Higher Education/Student Personnel from The University of Mississippi. While enrolled in her master’s program, she worked as a graduate assistant in the Office of Financial Aid, and upon completion of her master’s was hired as a full-time employee in the Office of Financial Aid. She worked as financial aid advisor and senior financial aid advisor until she was offered a position in the Admissions Office at the University of Mississippi in 2004.

Simmons served as the assistant director, interim director and associate director of admissions. In her roles in admissions, she managed the application process for the Oxford, Tupelo, Desoto, Booneville, and Grenada campuses for all new undergraduate applicants. She also served as the department’s budget officer. She served on several university standing committees including the Admissions, Orientation, Recruitment and Advising Committee, Non-Resident Admissions Committee, and Institutional Compliance Committee.

Simmons joined the Meek School of Journalism and New Media in October 2015 as the assistant dean for student services. In this role, one of her primary functions is freshmen advising. She also reviews graduation applications and is overseeing the student internship program.


Patricia Thompson

thompson_BW_REVISEDTitle: Assistant Dean for Student Media and Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5504

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-FM  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 San Jose Mercury News and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 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.



Joseph B. Atkins

atkins2Title: 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. Atkins is also author of the novel “Casey’s Last Chance,” published by Sartoris Literary Group in 2015.


Emily Bowen-Moore

Title: Instructor of Media Design
Phone: 662-915-5505

Emily Bowen‐Moore joined the faculty in spring of 2015. She earned her bachelor’s degree in graphic design and journalism at Ole Miss in 1997, and after several years of teaching, she earned her master’s in illustration. She has been a freelance illustrator and designer for the last 20 years, and her work has appeared in various printed media, including music CDs, children’s books, and large printed murals. In 2004 and 2006, she was awarded Earthwatch Institute S. A. Rosenbaum Fellowships through the Phil Hardin Foundation. In recent years, she has been illustrating, designing, and publishing her own children’s books.


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: 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

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

Scott Fiene is assistant professor and director of the undergraduate Integrated Marketing Communications program. He has more than two decades of corporate marketing communications experience, including roles as owner of a Des Moines, Iowa, based consulting firm and vice president of global financial services company Principal Financial Group. He has taught marketing and sales courses at the collegiate level for more than 15 years – immediately before coming to Ole Miss in 2012, he taught in the College of Business at Drake University.

He is faculty advisor for Ole Miss chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA), past president the Iowa chapter of AMA, a member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM) 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.


Vanessa Gregory

Title: 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

Title: 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.


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.

Cynthia Joyce

Title: 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.


Robert Magee

Robert MageeTitle: Assistant Professor; Director, Graduate Program in Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7566

Robert Magee conducts experimental research in persuasion and new media. His persuasion research tests how people’s world views and values influence their responses to marketing communications. His 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.


Ronnie “R.J.” Morgan

Title: 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.


Evangeline W. Robinson

Title: 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.


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.


Jennifer Sadler

Jennifer Sadler bw

Title: Instructor of Multimedia
Phone: 662-915-7146

Jennifer Sadler is an innovator, instructor and entrepreneur. After gaining her master’s in journalism from the University of Memphis, she began her career in sales and marketing before transitioning to entrepreneurship. She developed Connect Memphis to help bridge the gap between young professionals and opportunities for engagement and development in Memphis. In 2014, she developed Lolo (short for Love Local), an online marketplace and gift box company that showcased products made by local vendors. Sadler has a passion for local and small businesses, as she continually educates the community. In 2014, she began teaching entrepreneurship and management at the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis. Her classes introduced students to esteemed local entrepreneurs and allowed them to create businesses that gave back to the city. In addition to teaching, she developed and implemented numerous campaigns for local and national businesses as a digital strategist for The Commercial Appeal. Her knowledge of the changing landscape of news brought her to the University of Mississippi to teach multimedia journalism as part of the Integrated Marketing Communications program. Her goal is to disrupt collegiate education by introducing students to new ideas, new methods and new projects that will better prepare them for the opportunities available after college.


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 a professor specializing in broadcast and television news. He has written or edited nine books on broadcasting and/or sports, and authored nearly two dozen scholarly articles. Schultz has produced four sports documentaries, both of which have appeared on Mississippi Public Television. “The Season: Oxford Chargers” won a national Aurora award as best sports documentary. In 2015, his students won a state Associated Press award for best documentary with “Mississippi Casinos: Worth the Gamble?” Schultz is the creator and former editor of the Journal of Sports Media, and has served as national Head of the Sports Interest Group of AEJMC. He lives in Oxford and is a campus lay minister and deacon at Peace Lutheran Church. He is also active with the Oxford VA Home. . View list of publications.


Chris Canty Sparks

Chris Canty SparksTitle: Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Chris Canty Sparks is an assistant professor of Integrated Marketing Communications, teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Sparks joined the Meek school as a Professional in Residence after a 25 year career in strategic consumer marketing, agency campaign planning, category management and communications with Fortune 100 companies that include Ogilvy & Mather, The Coca-Cola Company, M&M/Mars Incorporated and The Colgate-Palmolive Company.

Sparks has considerable experience in the creation and execution of integrated marketing campaigns and brand introductions. She has been an integral member of the teams that launched Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Fresca Flavors and other brands of The Coca-Cola Company.

Sparks received her Master of Business Administration degree from the Owen Graduate School of Business at Vanderbilt University earning a dual concentration in Marketing and Organization Management. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Marketing and Management from the University of Mississippi.


Alysia Steele

Title:  Assistant Professor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-2096

Alysia Steele is a multimedia journalist and author of the book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom,” a finalist in the 2015 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards for nonfiction. The book has been featured in The New York Times,, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, National Public Radio, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Essence, (owned by The Washington Post), Free Lance-Star,  The Clarion-Ledger and Southern Living. NYT bestselling author Bishop T.D. Jake’s featured her story in his Docu-Series. She received her bachelor of arts in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in photography from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication. Steele has worked as a staff photographer/multimedia producer at The Columbus Dispatch, a picture editor at The Dallas Morning News and deputy director of photography/picture editor at The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Steele spent five weeks documenting life in South Africa, Uganda and Ivory Coast, where her images were featured in Habitat for Humanity’s 25th anniversary coffee table book. While a photographer at The Columbus Dispatch, she won the 2004 James Gordon Understanding Award for photographic excellence for her month-long assignment inside the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. 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. For three consecutive years, she did the picture editing and layout/design for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Classic coffee table book. She also did picture editing for the National Urban League and designed their 100th commemorative poem booklet written by Maya Angelou. She’s won numerous awards for her photography and picture editing.

Robin Street

Title: Senior Lecturer in Journalism
Phone: 662-915-5081

Robin Street, senior lecturer, primarily teaches public relations.

Street was named Educator of the Year in 2009 and Professional of the year in 2014 by both the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Southern Public Relations Federation.

She has been recognized for her commitment to diversity and student service with the Faculty Diversity Award from Ole Miss and the Strong Woman mentorship award fromLifetime Television and Baptist Women’sServices.

Street’s public relations works have won Best in Show once and Judges Choice twice, the two top honors given in the yearly professional competitions of both PRAM and SPRF, along with more than 30 other awards. She also won a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America for Diversity Rocks, a campaign she and her students created to celebrate diversity.

As a freelance journalist, her articles on fitness, wellness, nutrition and mental health have appeared in Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Cooking Light, Writer’s Digest, and Golf for Women.

Street holds the APR (accredited in public relations) accreditation. Her degrees, both from Ole Miss, are a M.A. in journalism and a M.S. degree in health promotion.

Kristen Alley Swain

Kristen Swain.Photo by Mark K. Dolan

Title: Associate 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.

Mike Tonos

Title: Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
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

Debora Wenger Profile-BWTitle: 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 two books, Advancing the Story:  Broadcast Journalism in a Multimedia World (Sage, 2014) and Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First (Sage, 2015). 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

Title: Professor of Journalism

Dr. Wickham teaches Advanced Reporting, Media Ethics, Feature Writing Press & Civil Rights and is the primary academic adviser for Honors College journalism majors. 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 five 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. 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 contract. 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 four books, most recently “Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians and Other Persons of Interest,” published by University Press of Mississippi in 2014.



Shannon Dixon

Title: 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.



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.


Paula Hurdle

Title: 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.


Jason McCormick

Jason McCormick. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Title: Associate Director of Development
Phone: 662-915-1757

Jason McCormick is the development officer for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. He began his position in the Office of University Development on July 1, 2015, although he is a longtime University of Mississippi staffer. McCormick is tasked with working to attract private gifts and build relationships to strengthen the Meek School. He is a 2006 Ole Miss journalism alumnus and completed a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media in May of 2015. His experience includes eight years as an admissions counselor for UM’s Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services. He has planned and implemented special visit programs for high school and community college students, as well as overseen the Community College Apex Leadership Summit, a leadership camp for community college students from throughout Mississippi. In addition, he has directed the Mississippi/Louisiana regional three-day leadership conference for Phi Theta Kappa, an academic honorary.


Steven Miller

Steven Miller 2Title: Student Media Broadcast Engineer
Phone: 662-915-5503

Steven Miller was hired as Broadcast Engineer at the Student Media Center in early 2016. He worked for more than 13 years as broadcast maintenance engineer and IT tech for WAPT-TV, a Hearst station in Jackson. Steven also taught electronics engineering technology at Hinds Community College. Steven has an AAS degree in electronics engineering/biomedical technology from Hinds, and a bachelor of technology in business management and management information systems degree from Mississippi University for Women.


Mykki Newton

Title: 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.


Kenneth Sessions

Kenneth Sessions 2Title: Student Media Manager of Technology
Phone: 662-915-5503

Kenny Sessions joined the Student Media Center in 2015. Previously, he worked as IT manager for the College of Business at Tennessee State University, and in senior IT management and supervisory positions with WKNO Public Broadcasting, International Paper and the Federal Express Corporation. Kenny received a B.S. degree in business, an Executive MBA degree with a concentration in information technology management from Christian Brothers University, and a master of public administration degree from Tennessee State University, with an emphasis on IT in the public sector.  He has several IT and IT training certifications, and has taught classes at the National College of Business & Technology in Nashville and Webster University in Memphis.


Support Faculty

Andrew M. Abernathy

Andrew Abernathy bwTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Andrew M. Abernathy is a UM communications specialist and an adjunct instructor in integrated marketing communications. A two-time graduate of UM, Abernathy holds a B.A. in English and journalism and an M.A. in journalism. He oversees communications strategy for the UM School of Education where he is housed in the Office of the Dean and is a member of the Administrative Leadership Council. A former magazine editor and freelance writer, Abernathy recently earned a top award from the Southern Public Relations Federation for his role in creating and producing “The Education Minute” social media series. His 2009 coverage of restaurant owners working to rebuild small businesses in the wake of an EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, was recognized by the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Abernathy’s college radio coverage of UM’s Civil Rights Monument dedication also received recognition by the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association.


James T. “Jim” Goodwin

James T. Goodwin bwTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Jim and Julianne Goodwin live in Belden and are the owners of the local Express Employment Professionals franchise, a staffing company that has been in Tupelo since 1987. The Goodwins bought the business in 2006. Express works with over 100 local businesses providing over 400 workers across northern Mississippi. Prior to Express, Goodwin held senior positions in marketing at leading consumer companies such as Schering-Plough, Procter & Gamble, the Coors Brewing Company, the Absolut Spirits Company, and T-Mobile. Goodwin has served on the boards of the American Staffing Association, the Regional Rehabilitation Center, the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association and the Tupelo Kiwanis Club and serves as a volunteer for fundraising events of the North MS Healthcare Foundation and the Sanctuary Hospice House, among other causes.


Stefanie Goodwiller


Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

Stefanie Goodwiller is manager of design services at University Communications (UM) and has been an adjunct instructor at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media since 2013. Stefanie has more than 30 years experience as a graphic designer and visual communicator in print, media, corporate, and non-profit venues. She has been creative director for two international B2B magazines and has spent many years in the newspaper industry, including employment with Gannett and Community Newspapers. She also maintains an active freelance business. Stefanie’s extensive background includes print production, photography, marketing and editorial design, as well as an entrepreneurial endeavor creating, marketing and manufacturing an award-winning food product, CoffeebarkTM. Stefanie earned her B.F.A. (Cum Laude) from the University of South Alabama and is working on a masters’ degree in IMC from the Meek School. She is an active member of the international Society for News Design ( and is involved with its student chapter, OleMissSND.


 Deborah (Debbie) Woodrick Hall


Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Deborah (Debbie) Woodrick Hall earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi in 1980 while she was working in the Vice Chancellor’s Office as Academic Program Coordinator and a Bachelor of Business Administration is 1977.   Ms. Hall helped to coordinate the first online
registration at Ole Miss. When she left the University in 1983, she began a 
career in Public Relations that led her to work with the Girl Scouts, United Methodist Senior Services of Mississippi, the United Methodist Children’s Home
of Alabama and West Florida, United Way of Northeast Mississippi, and Boys and 
Girls Clubs of Northeast Mississippi.  At each of these organizations, she also held the job of fundraiser.  Ms. Hall is currently the Community Relations Director at North Mississippi State Hospital.  During her tenure, she has been recognized as the Junior Professional of the Year by the Mississippi Hospital Association and was a graduate of the first Focus Program, a leadership development program of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.   Her job includes not only community education and media relations but also governmental relations as well.   Ms. Hall and her husband David live in Verona, Mississippi.


Claire Hick


Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

Claire Hick’s background is in hospital administration, marketing/public relations and TV news. She received both her undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism and masters in healthcare administration from Ole Miss. At Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Mississippi, she serves as the director of marketing, patient experience, volunteers, outpatient referral and community relations. She also is the hospital’s public information officer as well as administrator-on-call as a senior leader for the hospital. She previously worked for her parent company, Baptist Memorial Health Care, in corporate communications, overseeing strategy for hospital and physician practices in three states. Her journalism background started during her undergraduate years when she worked for the New York Times Broadcasting Company as a news reporter, anchor and producer transitioning to tourism public relations for five years. At Ole Miss, she was given the “Most Outstanding Broadcast Journalism Student” award in undergraduate school and the “Graduate Outstanding MHA Student” award from the business school in graduate school. Other career accolades include the “Overall VOX Grande Award,” the top award given in marketing/public relations by the Public Relations Society of America, named “Most Valuable Employee” by New York Times Broadcast Group, and won six Associated Press Awards.


Summer Hill-Vinson

Summer Hill-Vinson BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

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.


Timothy Ivy

Timothy Ivy 2Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

Timothy Ivy began his career in photojournalism as a student photographer for the University of Mississippi Public Relations Department during which time he was also a regular freelancer for the Associated Press, The Clarion-Ledger, The Commercial Appeal and other newspapers and magazines. Since then he has covered national and international stories with images appearing around the world in various publications, including The New York Times, Ebony magazine, The Oxford American, Business Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, Delta Magazine and many other periodicals, books and journals. In 2014, he was awarded an artist’s fellowship by the Mississippi Arts Commission and continues to document life in the Mid-South for various publications and journals. He holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Mississippi.


Ellen Kellum

Ellen KellumTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism
Phone: 662-915-7146

Ellen Kellum began teaching the Journalism 273 Creative Visual Communications course in 2014. She received her B.F.A. in theater from Texas Christian University and worked for over 18 years as a scenic artist and costumer before spending six years as a wardrobe supervisor in New York City on Broadway and at Lincoln Center. She then returned to her hometown of Oxford and received her master’s degree with an art emphasis in journalism from the University of Mississippi. She has worked as a graphic designer and art director for a B2B publication and currently works as office manager and resident graphic designer for the presbytery of St. Andrew, the Synod of Living Waters and Living Waters for the World.


Maury S. Lane

Maury Lane BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

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 has 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.


Ellen Meacham

Ellen Meacham croppedTitle: 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. Her book on the subject, Delta Epiphany: RFK in Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi), will be published in 2017. Find out more about it at


Rick Mize

Rick Mize BWTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

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.


Hank Price

Hank Price Profile-BWTitle: Director, Leadership Development

Hank Price is president and general manager of WVTM 13, the Hearst Television NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama.  He also serves as director of leadership development for the Meek School of Journalism & New Media.  Before moving to WVTM 13 in January of 2015, Price was president and general manager of WXII 12, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During Price’s tenure, WXII 12 became the region’s dominant source of news and information on all platforms, including television, Web and mobile. From 2000 until 2015, Price was also senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center. He is co-author of Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First (Sage, 2015). Prior to joining Hearst and Northwestern, Price was vice-president and general manager of WBBM-TV, the CBS-owned television station in Chicago. During that time, he was named a “Fifth Estater” by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine for innovative leadership in local newsBefore WBBM, Price spent 12 years with the Gannett Company in a variety of positions including president and general manager of KARE 11 in Minneapolis, president and general manager of WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC, and vice-president for Programming, Marketing and Research at WUSA-TV in Washington, DC.


Mary Helen Randall

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications

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.


LaReeca Rucker

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism

LaReeca Rucker spent a decade at The Clarion-Ledger — Mississippi’s largest daily newspaper — covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper’s print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

During the newspaper’s digital transition, Rucker was the first reporter at The Clarion-Ledger to promote her work using social media and create a blog.

This year, she received a first-place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story, written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle, chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Rucker also traveled to Elaine, Arkansas, this year to write about America’s deadliest race riot — a story featured on The Huffington Post.


Lucy Schultze


Title: Adjunct Instructor Integrated Marketing Communications

A longtime local journalist, Lucy Schultze works in marketing communications with an emphasis on content marketing, event promotion and storytellling. Her current role as communications coordinator for Oxford Treatment Center has included social media management and writing for blogs and traditional media, as well as a variety of projects from podcast recording to photo shoot production. Schultze spent nine years on the staff of The Oxford Eagle newspaper, where she was an award-winning feature writer. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and history from the University of Southern Mississippi Honors College.


Bobby D. Steele Jr.

Title: Adjunct Instructor of Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communications

Bobby D. Steele Jr. is an adjunct instructor in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Steele received a M.A. in journalism from the University of Mississippi and is also a Graduate Intern II for the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education, specializing in creative content, photography and social media marketing. He is Director of Operations and a board member for the nonprofit organization Delta Jewels Support Foundation. Steele teaches undergraduate courses in journalism and integrated marketing communications.


Christina Steube


Title: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-6966

Christina Steube is a communications specialist for the University of Mississippi and adjunct instructor of integrated marketing communications. She earned a B.A. in journalism from the Meek School in 2011 and earned her M.A. in journalism in 2016. In the last two years as a communications specialist, Steube has written news releases, marketing campaigns and social media posts for departments across campus. Prior to returning to Ole Miss in 2014, she worked as a multimedia journalist for two years at the Sun Herald in Gulfport, Mississippi, covering government in Jackson County and general news across the Gulf Coast. After completing undergraduate studies in 2011, Steube worked as a broadcast production assistant at Fox News Channel in New York City.


Michael Thompson, Jr.

Michael ThompsonTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7522

Michael Thompson, Jr., joined the Ole Miss Athletics Department in August of 2010 as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Marketing, Communications and Fan Experience.  The Memphis native oversees the Rebels’ communications strategy, marketing and branding efforts, creative and production services as well as media and public relations.  He serves as the school’s lead on the SEC Network, represents Ole Miss on the Southeastern Conference’s Fan Experience working group, and was recently tabbed to serve on SEC Commissioner Sankey’s Branding Committee for the conference.


Peyton Warrington

Peyton Warrington BW HSTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

After earning her master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Arkansas in 1994, Peyton Warrington joined the Baptist North Mississippi team as an administrative resident.

Through the years, she has served as director of physician services and director of marketing for Baptist. And, in 2001, she was named assistant administrator. Warrington oversees both clinical and support departments including imaging, pathology, inpatient and outpatient therapy, facilities and biomed, security, environmental and food services. Her passion for mentoring students and other professionals is what led her to serve as an adjunct instructor at the University of Mississippi beginning in spring 2015.

Warrington has an undergraduate degree in business management from Delta State University. She is board certified by the Fellowship of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Warrington currently serves on the Mississippi Hospital Association’s American College of Health Care executive board, has served as the chairman of the board of the Oxford Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and is currently serving on the board of directors for the Chamber.


Rachel West

Rachel WestTitle: Adjunct Instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications
Phone: 662-915-7146

Rachel West is the publisher of Invitation Magazines (Invitation Oxford, Invitation Tupelo and Invitation University), north Mississippi’s only local magazines covering Oxford and Tupelo. She oversees a staff of artists, editors, writers and a sales team. She founded Invitation Oxford in 2006 and Invitation Tupelo four years later. Previous to launching Invitation Magazines, Rachel won several awards from the Mississippi Press Association as a daily newspaper feature writer, worked in public relations, and served as a public information officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Rachel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Ole Miss (Class of 2001) and a master’s degree in business marketing and management. She is a native of Arkansas and has lived in Mississippi for 19 years.