The Meek School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Archive for the ‘Faculty News’ Category

5 Questions with Assistant Professor Evangeline Robinson

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

Photo by Marlen Polito

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

What class do you most like to teach and why?

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

Describe your favorite type of student?

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

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

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

Describe what type of student you were.

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

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

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

“Wearables” next big thing for journalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We need to not fight this.”

5 Questions with Assistant Professor Robert Magee

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

Photo by Marlen Polito.

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

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

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

2. Describe your favorite type of student.

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

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

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

4. Describe what type of student you were.

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

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

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

Story contributed by multimedia journalism graduate student Marlen Polito 


5 Questions with Assistant Professor Alysia Steele

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by drwenger

Photo by Marlen Polito, September 8, 2014.

Asking questions is the way to Assistant Professor Alysia Steele’s heart.   Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Steele has been a part of the Meek School for more than two years.  You can read all about her awards and education, but you’ll get a sense of her as a teacher right here.

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

I really enjoy teaching Jour 375, which is the photojournalism class. I’ve been a photographer for 27 years and it’s my life; I can’t imagine doing anything else. Most of my passion is teaching students how to take good, sound photographs with strong compositions and beautiful light.

2. Describe your favorite type of student.

My favorite type of student is someone who is communicative. Someone that likes to talk in class, that offers their opinion, that is not afraid to speak their mind. I love someone who is always challenging me and asking questions and wanting to learn more. I really enjoy students who develop a passion in photography.

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

I just finished one book that was so much fun and it didn’t feel like work, it’s called Jewels in the Delta. I interviewed, photograph, and collected oral histories from 50 Mississippi Delta church mothers. They’re women that are leaders and belong to Baptist churches in the Delta. I had a lot of fun and had my own private history lessons with these 50 women.

4. Describe what type of student you were.

I was a model student; my grades were very important to me; I was an over achiever. Life lessons when I was over 25 made me a better student.

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

Wow, that’s a really hard question. I’m in a new chapter in my life right now, I would have to say that when students show enthusiasm, and when they get something and they have a passion for it, that’s such a fulfilling feeling. I am really proud of when students do exceptional work in our field and come back and show it to me. In my personal life, the work that I am most proud of would be Jewels in the Delta. I think I have become a better human being; I’ve become a more patient and more understanding person.

Story contributed by multimedia journalism graduate student Marlen Polito.







Meek School professor spends summer learning

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by alysia
Ole Miss intern Taylor Leatherwood of Long Beach and Dr. Nancy Dupont in the WLOX newsroom.

Ole Miss intern Taylor Leatherwood of Long Beach and Dr. Nancy Dupont in the WLOX newsroom.

Professor Nancy Dupont spent part of her summer immersing herself in TV news as part of a Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Faculty Fellowship at WLOX in Biloxi.  She spent a week in the newsroom, sharpening her skills in writing, reporting and videography.”It was great to be at WLOX because that’s where I began my professional career 40 years ago, and some of my coworkers are still working there.  But the most valuable part of the fellowship was meeting the young journalists who’ve agreed to help Meek students succeed,” Professor Dupont said.  “These young people are thriving in a challenging new media environment our students will face in a few years.”

Some of the journalists agreed to come to Oxford to speak to classes, while others offered to do live internet video conferences in the coming semesters.  Christina Garcia is the new 6 and 10 o’clock primary anchor at WLOX-TV in Biloxi, but her path to an on-air job is somewhat unusual.  The way she did it may be the best example of what is required for success in a 21st century newsroom.

She studied print journalism at the University of South Alabama, interned at WKRG in Mobile and was hired as an online producer at WLOX in 2011.  Since then, she learned every job in the newsroom by any means possible, making herself an extremely valuable employee.  Her advice to students is as unique as her career.

Christina is so busy that we had to talk to her while she was putting on makeup for the 6’clock show with Meteorologist Mike Reader.