The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘Faculty News’ Category

Meek School Assistant Dean Wenger receives the Burkum Service Award

Posted on: August 9th, 2018 by ldrucker

Meek School Associate Professor Deb Wenger, assistant dean for innovation and external partnerships, and her co-author Deborah Potter have been honored by the Electronic News Division of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication. They received the Burkum Service Award for their work in serving the journalism industry and journalism education.

Meek School students attend NABJ convention in Detroit

Posted on: August 3rd, 2018 by ldrucker

Assistant Dean Pat Thompson and students Erin Pennington and Ethel Mwedziwendira are representing the University of Mississippi Association of Black Journalists at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Detroit from Aug. 1-5.

They are attending workshops and panels, meeting with media job recruiters, and networking with alumni. Here they are with alumnus Jesse Holland on Thursday, following his participation on a luncheon panel titled “The Power of Black Panther and Creating Positive Images in the Media.”

Highlights of the convention include a newsmaker plenary on Journalism Driven by Technology and Innovation; a panel on When Arts Meets Activism featuring movie actresses, directors and entertainment editors; a town hall on diversity; a “master class” on entrepreneurship and branding with Tyler Perry; workshops on data reporting, social media in the newsroom, covering the migration crisis, visual journalism, sports journalism, digital content; professional training sessions by CNN, CBS and other media; interviews with authors of books just released; screenings of new films and TV shows; awards ceremonies.

Recruiters from all major media are recruiting students and professionals for jobs and hosting receptions. Jemele Hill of ESPN’s The Undefeated is NABJ’s Journalist of the Year.

Meek School professor uses NSF grant to study interpersonal communications

Posted on: July 31st, 2018 by ldrucker

Meek School professor Graham Bodie believes that if people can feel that they’re being heard during times of stress, their lives will improve. With that in mind, he is working to find the best way to teach critical listening skills that could enhance lives.

A visiting professor of integrated marketing communications at the University of Mississippi, Bodie is conducting his research through a three year-grant from the National Science Foundation.

UM received the grant from the NSF’s Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences as part of a collaborative effort to study what happens during conversations about everyday problems. Penn State University and the University of Minnesota also were awarded grants in support of the collaboration, which seeks to clarify how discussing everyday stressors with others conveys support and leads to different emotional outcomes.

Bodie’s work will look at how a listener’s supportive comments influence the way a person talks about their stressful experience.

“My academic background is in how humans process information and how they behave as listeners, particularly within the context of talking about stressful events,” Bodie said. “What do we say that allows others to better understand their unique stressors and ultimately to cope with those events?

“How should we best train people in this capacity? What can listening to others teach us about ourselves, our society and our world?”

Bodie previously conducted research on listening and the social cognitive foundation of human communicative behavior. This project will expand on the nuances of what people do when they offer support to others, a facet that he said has not been thoroughly explored.

“Although there is work on specific features of supportive messages, it tends to be hypothetical, asking participants to imagine they receive support,” Bodie said. “Likewise, although there is work that pairs people together to talk through stressful events, most of this work explores general impressions of the conversation – how supported they felt after the conversation.”

This grant will allow Bodie to work with data from four previous studies, which includes more than 450 videotaped conversations of a person describing a stressor to another, while the listener provides support.

The research conducted with this grant fits in with the university’s Community Wellbeing Flagship Constellation research initiative, where researchers identify factors that impair the well-being of individuals and work to implement programs to build stronger, more vibrant communities.

“Dr. Bodie and his team’s recent National Science Foundation grant award demonstrates the opportunities we have to increase knowledge and improve practice and policy through cutting-edge research,” said John Green, constellation team leader and director of the UM Center for Population Studies. “As an active part of the Community Wellbeing Flagship Constellation and a committed member of the steering committee, Dr. Bodie is contributing to the University of Mississippi’s leadership in scholarly endeavors that will improve people’s lives.”

The research will examine how variations in these particular types of interactions result in differences in how the distressed person continues to express their thoughts and feelings throughout the interaction.

“What is missing is an understanding of how messages unfold over the course of a conversation to regulate the emotions of a person in distress,” said Denise Solomon, principal investigator and professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State. “Our project will focus on studying the conversation linkages between one person’s supportive messages and the other person’s cognitive and emotional responses in an effort to map those dynamic patterns.”

The investigators will analyze every element of these conversations and develop strategies to show how emotion and cognitive processing are affected during the course of an interaction. The researchers have predicted that distressed individuals who are responsive to high-quality supportive messages during an interaction leave the conversation with an improved emotional state and a new understanding of their issue.

“The main prediction is the interaction between support quality and how disclosers talk about their event,” Bodie said. “I feel like if people can feel heard in times of stress, their lives will improve, and I want to know how we can best teach these skills toward bettering our lives.”

The researchers hope their findings will ultimately be able to assist support providers and counselors, while also leading to additional research to determine why some individuals or relationships show different levels of responsiveness during supportive conversations.

“The novelty in this research is mapping responsiveness within interactions onto important conversational outcomes, which opens the door to new questions about why those patterns differ between people and between relationships,” Solomon said.

“We also envision that the tool kit we develop can be used to illuminate the dynamics of other types of consequential conversations, such as in conflict negotiations or attempts to influence a partner’s health behavior.”

Other investigators on the project include Susanne Jones, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Minnesota, and Nilam Ram, professor of human development, family studies and psychology at Penn State.

Funding for this research was provided through grant no. 1749474 from the NSF Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.

This story was written by Christina Steube for Ole Miss News.

Next Freedom of Information Road Show set for Oxford

Posted on: July 26th, 2018 by ldrucker

The third in a series of workshops promoting transparency in government and a better understanding of Mississippi’s sunshine laws is set for Aug. 30 in Oxford.

The Freedom of Information “road show” will be held at 2 p.m. at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

The Meek School of Journalism and New Media is joining the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation in presenting the workshop, which will feature Tom Hood, executive director of the Mississippi Ethics Commission, and Leonard Van Slyke, attorney for the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information.

The event, which is open to the public, will provide information and insight relevant to elected officials and members of the media but of interest to the public at large, too.

“We hope government officials from the area, as well as members of the media and the public will attend and take part in a dialog to increase awareness of Mississippi’s Public Meetings and Open Records Acts,” said Mississippi Press Association President Paul Keane, publisher of The Wayne County News. “This is the third in a series seminars on the topic we hope to hold this year in the state.”

Hood and Van Slyke will both give an overview of the state laws that govern the public’s right to know and will also take questions from the audience.

Keane said newspapers and other media in the area are strongly encouraged to attend and urged MPA members to invite local officials from their areas. Additional workshops are planned in other areas of the state.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Layne Bruce, MPA executive director, 601-981-3060.

Meek School leaders and students welcome MOST Conference visitors

Posted on: July 16th, 2018 by ldrucker

Meek School, Student Media and University of Mississippi Association of Black Journalists representatives spent Sunday evening, July 15, with hundreds of students on campus for the annual MOST Conference.

MOST, which stands for Mississippi Outreach to Scholastic Talent, brings top African-American high school students in the state to the UM campus each summer for workshops, networking opportunities, panel discussions, mentoring and more.

Participating were: Meek School Dean Will Norton; Assistant Dean Jennifer Simmons; Assistant Dean Patricia Thompson; Adjunct Instructor Bobby Steele; and DeAndria Turner, student manager of Rebel Radio and broadcast journalism major.

Meek School journalism professor’s project selected to partner with National Humanities Alliance

Posted on: July 10th, 2018 by ldrucker

Rolando Herts, Alysia Burton Steele, Delta Jewel Annyce Campbell, Bobby Steele, and Kappi Allen at the Clarksdale Community Gathering. Image courtesy of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

A Meek School journalism professor has been chosen to partner with the National Humanities Alliance.

The organization has highlighted 51 partnerships out of 1,402 applicants, and one selected was Assistant Professor Alysia Steele’s Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership. Click here to view the website that showcases Steele’s work.

Steele is the author of Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom. She is also founder and executive director of the Delta Jewels Support Foundation.

The Mississippi Humanities Council named Steele a 2016 Preserver of Mississippi Culture Award winner. She is the coordinator for Lens Collective, a multimedia storytelling conference, and she was highlighted in Bishop T.D. Jakes docu-series Destiny Visions.

Meek School’s ‘It Starts with (Me)ek’ team wins a Silver Anvil Award

Posted on: June 9th, 2018 by ldrucker

A Meek School instructor and her 30-student team won the Silver Anvil, the most prestigious U.S. award in public relations, on June 7 in New York for It Starts with (Me)ek, a public relations campaign they created asking Meek School students to “just pause” before stereotyping others.

The award, given by the Public Relations Society of America, is considered to be the Oscar of the PR industry.

Actress and CBS Sunday Morning show contributor Nancy Giles, perhaps best known for her role on the TV show “China Beach,” served as emcee and presented the award to Senior Lecturer Robin Street, campaign chair.

The It Starts with (Me)ek campaign won a Silver Anvil award, considered to be the Oscar of the PR industry, for internal communications. Actress and CBS Sunday Morning show contributor Nancy Giles presented the award to Senior Lecturer Robin Street at a ceremony in New York on June 7. Accompanying Street at the ceremony were three of the 30 students who worked on the campaign. Pictured from left, Grace Miller, Giles, Street, Bianca Abney and Brittanee Wallace. Photo by Stan O’Dell.

Meek graduates Brittanee Wallace, Bianca Abney and Grace Miller, three of the 30 students who served on the ISWM committee, joined Street at the ceremony.

The week-long campaign consisted of 50 events, speakers and activities, all based on the message to “just pause” before judging people based solely on one factor such as their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness or other factor.

Like the Oscars, Silver Anvils are given in multiple categories. It Starts with (Me)ek won in the internal communications category for government or non-profit organizations.

The campaign has previously won awards from both the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Southern Public Relations Federation.

Meek School student wins RTDNF’s most prestigious scholarship

Posted on: June 7th, 2018 by ldrucker

A Meek School of Journalism and New Media student has been awarded the Radio and Television Digital News Foundation’s most prestigious scholarship.

Brittany Brown is the recipient of the Ed Bradley Scholarship, a $10,000 award “presented to an outstanding student of color in memory of the late CBS News’ ’60 Minutes’ correspondent and groundbreaking journalist,” RTDNF reports.

RTDNF awards journalism students who have “demonstrated an outstanding commitment to broadcast and digital news, its ethical principles and the foundations of storytelling.” Honorees are invited to attend the fall Excellence in Journalism conference in Baltimore.

Brown is a Meek School senior journalism major and Spanish minor, who has been very involved in Ole Miss student media, serving as assistant news editor for The Daily Mississippian newspaper and digital content producer for NewsWatch Ole Miss, a live, student-run TV news program.

The RTDNF news release reports that “Brown is passionate about investigative journalism and multimedia storytelling, and she is currently completing a summer-long fellowship with Carnegie-Knight News21 at Arizona State University, where student-journalists from across the country and world are producing a national project on hate crimes and acts of hate in America.”

You can follow Brown on her website or on Twitter at @isthatbritt.

The 2018 class of fellowship and scholarship recipients includes nine young journalists of color – six of them women of color.

“The journalists represent the best and brightest in news,” RTDNF reports. “From health to science to sports and politics, they’ve demonstrated a commitment to keeping their communities informed.”

To read the full article, click here.

Meek School professor helps students achieve Federal Aviation Administration drone certification

Posted on: May 30th, 2018 by ldrucker

Professor Ji Hoon Heo helped guide 14 students through the the Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 Drone Certification test.

Now, they can commercially fly in the United States for journalism and other purposes.

This furthers Professor Heo’s mission of educating the industry on the safe and responsible use of drones.

See the video they produced for the university and be sure to note how much construction is underway.

Meek School journalism professor featured on ‘Hardball’ with Chris Matthews

Posted on: May 30th, 2018 by ldrucker

University of Mississippi journalism professor Ellen Meacham recently appeared on “Hardball” with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GckzdnAkPSE

In the video, Meacham details Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to the Mississippi Delta in 1967 in her new book Delta Epiphany: RFK in Mississippi.

Meacham’s book, published by University Press of Mississippi, examines the history, economics and politics of the Delta and how those factors influenced the lives of people whom Kennedy met there during that visit.

The book was inspired by a description from fellow journalist Curtis Wilkie’s memoir of Kennedy in a dark shack trying to speak to a toddler who was paying more attention to crumbs on the floor.

“I wondered about the impact it had on Kennedy, because it’s mentioned as an important moment in all of his biographies,” Meacham said. “The next question I had was, ‘What happened to the baby?’”

After seven years of searching, Meacham found and interviewed children from the four families Kennedy encountered on his visit, including that toddler.

“As I got into the research, I realized pretty quickly that there was a big part of the story that had not been told,” she said. “Most of the contemporary news accounts and later historians had only looked at RFK on the stage. The people who were living the lives that moved him so were more of a ‘poverty stage set.’”

Meacham wanted to tell the stories of those people.

“It became very important to me to bring those families into the light and find out how they came to be in that place at that time, what struggles they faced and their accomplishments since,” she said. “I think it brings more balance.

“It’s not just a story of a hero or a saint, it’s about a real person meeting real people.”

The book also features about a dozen photos, including the cover, that are published for the first time.

“The photographs were essential to telling this story,” Meacham said. “They brought such a vivid realism that showed the impact of the visit on Kennedy in a powerful way.”

A working journalist for more than two decades, Meacham used her experience as a newspaper reporter in Mississippi, which gave her access to contacts within both politics and journalism in the state, putting her in a unique position to tell these stories.

“Ellen Meacham is a talented and perceptive journalist who recognized, nearly a half-century after the fact, the great impact of Robert Kennedy’s brief trip to the Mississippi Delta in 1967,” said Wilkie, a UM associate professor of journalism and fellow of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

“It was a mission that changed his life, the tortured history of that region and the nation’s attitude toward hungry people in America. Though Ellen was not old enough to have been there, her investigation of the story has brought it back to life, and it is an example of her valuable work.”

Note: Most of this article was written by Christina Stuebe, from University Communications.