The Meek School of Journalism and New Media is proud of students enrolled in classes on our regional campuses.
Here is a photo of two integrated marketing communication DeSoto campus graduates at a recent ceremony.
The Meek School of Journalism and New Media is proud of students enrolled in classes on our regional campuses.
Here is a photo of two integrated marketing communication DeSoto campus graduates at a recent ceremony.
Students in Robin Street’s Public Relations Techniques class met with Reade Tidwell, who works in corporate communications with Chick-fil-A, this week. Tidwell spoke and answered questions, especially about her role as the head of internal communications for the national company. Tidwell, a University of Mississippi Business School graduate, is originally from Clarksdale.
Baltimore native Herb May, a former University of Mississippi student, returned to the Meek School this week to talk about his job with On Location Experiences. May said the company is the official hospitality partner of the NFL, and he works as a manager in premium sales, selling NFL and sports experiences to diehard fans and corporate entities who host high level clients.
May, who attended a boarding school in Connecticut before becoming an Ole Miss student, said he came to UM because he was a football fan and wanted to have an NFL-related job. He worked for the Ole Miss Football Team as a recruiting and coach assistant his first year before becoming involved with Sigma Nu fraternity.
“I had a really great relationship with Scott Fiene,” he said, “and he was really helpful in guiding me where to look and what classes to take to get me through school. It was the best four and a half years of my life.”
Fiene is the assistant dean for curriculum and assessment and assistant professor of integrated marketing communications.
May said he learned there were many job opportunities in the world and decided to stop limiting himself. But after learning about a position with On Location Experiences through a connection with another Sigma Nu fraternity brother, he returned to his original career path seeking an NFL-related job. He said he was “perfectly persistent” when requesting a job interview with the company.
May said On Location Experiences owns a number of subsidiary companies, including businesses in the travel and entertainment industry. “It’s a full service, one-stop shop company that curates a premium experience around the NFL.” The corporate office is located in New York, but they are also establishing a presence in Atlanta.
May’s career advice? He encourages students to familiarize themselves with LinkedIn and use it as a tool to network with professionals. He said the after-college job search can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to start job seeking long before you graduate.
He tells students to pick five industries, five job roles, and five cities, and narrow down their search. He said don’t overlook small companies because they enable you to network with the heads of companies and other leaders within the company who may think of you when they move on to another job.
It’s also important to be humble. “Guys who have a certain degree and have done certain internships, but who are not willing to do the grunt work – get the coffees, get the mail, and do all that stuff – that’s where people lose jobs.”
May said he has prospective clients in Oxford, and as the company grows, they could be hiring in the future. He described his ideal employee.
“I need to have someone that I cannot only have a relationship with and be a mentor to, but that I can also be firm with when there is a mistake,” he said. “It should be someone who I could show why there is a mistake, how to improve it, and what I would have done differently. And I need someone on the other side of the table to be receptive to that.”
Deborah Potter and Debora Wenger, Ph.D., are each being honored with 2018 Larry Burkum Service Awards for their service to journalism and journalism education.
The Electronic News Division will honor Potter and Wenger in August at AEJMC’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. A committee of former END Division Heads and previous Burkum Award winners selected each woman from a pool of nomination.
Debora Wenger, Ph.D., is currently assistant dean for innovation and external partnerships at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. Her work as a trainer for the Society of Professional Journalists’ partnership with the Google News Initiative has taken her to institutions and newsrooms around the country.
In addition, she regularly contributes research to both academic and professional publications, focusing primarily on multimedia journalism practice and education. Prior to her work in academia, Wenger was a reporter, anchor and news manager at various local television stations.
“This is amazing,” Wenger said when she learned of the honor. “This is such an honor. I’m so touched to be recognized this way. None of us gets into this for the accolades or the awards, but this is special. It really means a lot to me that colleagues see the value in the overall goal of my work.”
Perhaps equally excited about Wenger’s honor is her Ole Miss colleague, Nancy Dupont, Ph.D.
“I’m beside myself with excitement,” Dupont said. “I see firsthand how dedicated Deb is to her students, and she shows that not only by working with them, but by preparing both them and the industry for this new world of change we’re facing.”
Bill Silcock, Ph.D., of Arizona State University, was equally effusive in praising Dr. Wenger.
“She really is one of those who sets a standard for bringing the industry and the academy together,” he said. “Whether it is at conferences, workshops or in published research, Deb pushes everyone to look beyond what they’re doing now and to look ahead. Her work provides answers, but also pushes people to use her findings to come up with answers that work best for them. I’m so excited for her; she really is a great choice to honor this year.”
Potter is the founding director of NewsLab, now affiliated with the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. Potter has been a correspondent, anchor and program host at CBS, CNN and PBS, as well as various local television and radio stations.
Currently, a Pollner professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism, Potter has taught at multiple institutions and has led hundreds of training sessions for students and professionals. In addition, she has served as executive director of the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation.
“I’m so excited,” Potter said when she learned the news. “This is a great honor. It really means a lot to me to be recognized like this.”
Potter noted that she has long had an interest in giving back and teaching, and “(my) work with NewsLab and RTNDF grew out of that. I’ve really enjoyed bringing educators and professionals closer together, and being honored with this award is just a thrill.”
“Deborah Potter is truly one of the leaders in connecting students to industry,” said Bill Davie, Ph.D., at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, a member of the selection committee. “She is one of those people who has such energy and enthusiasm for helping students and professionals get better at their craft. I think her work over the years is exemplary of what we all try to do – make a difference with out students and the profession.”
Tim Brown, Ph.D., of the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida and Burkum Committee Chair, was equally enthusiastic about Potter’s selection.
“Her NewsLab work and workshops, as well as her work with RTNDF, have been models for me in what I try to pass along to my students,” he said. “She’s one of those who just works to make the business better than she found it, and I can really appreciate that. I still use some of her earlier NewsLab tips and tricks; they’re so solid and fundamental, they stand up each passing year.”
The committee notes that Potter and Wenger have collaborated on multiple projects, including the reporting textbook Advancing the Story, now in its 4th edition. However, it is important to point out that each woman is being honored individually for her own accomplishments.
While honoring two individuals with this award is a bit unusual, the committee believes these two are equally worthy of recognition this year. The Burkum Awards will be presented to Potter and Wenger on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
The Larry Burkum Service Award is presented by the Electronic News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. This award recognizes an electronic journalist or journalism educator who has demonstrated extraordinary service to journalism education.
Larry Burkum served the Electronic News Division as secretary, newsletter editor and webmaster from 1995 to 2005. He was presented the inaugural Burkum Award at the 2005 AEJMC convention in San Antonio.
Oxford Stories reporting classes recently completed a special journalism project about the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Oxford Stories worked in partnership with the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal to republish some of the stories student reporters wrote.
Chris Keiffer, of the Daily Journal, later contacted Oxford Stories and asked to do a podcast about the project. Oxford Stories reporters Alexis Rhoden and T’Keyah Jones were interviewed for the podcast. You can listen to their interview at the link below.
You can read stories from the project at the website: The Lorraine Motel: 50 Years After the Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
University of Mississippi public relations students and recent graduates swept the awards in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi student competition, with one student winning overall Best in Show.
Only 14 total students from around the state won awards, and UM students from the Meek School of Journalism and new Media won 12 of those.
In addition, a 30-member student committee led by Senior Lecturer Robin Street won an award of excellence in the professional category for the anti-stereotyping campaign called It Starts with (Me)ek they created for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.
The awards were presented at the PRAM state conference in Starkville on April 13.
“Entries submitted by students from the University of Mississippi highlighted their extraordinary skills, and I have no doubt that each of these students will be successful as a public relations professional,” said Christen Duhé, PRAM’s vice president of awards. “Their level of professionalism is very impressive.”
The students entered public relations campaigns they produced in Street’s advanced class during 2017. Each campaign required multi-faceted skills, including writing news articles, shooting video and photos, planning creative attention-getting events, conducting research and creating online and social media posts.
“I already knew how outstanding these students are, but I was delighted that the judges recognized that also,” Street said. “Our students demonstrated that they excel in the diverse set of skills needed in today’s public relations profession. That is a tribute to the preparation they received from all the faculty members at the Meek School.”
Awards were given at three levels, based on the number of points judges award each entry. The top award is the Prism, followed by the Excellence and Merit awards. Multiple students can win in the same category if they earn the required number of points. The entry with the highest number of points is named Best in Show.
Addie Guida, a public policy major and journalism minor from Gulfport, won Student Best in Show and the Prism in her category. The judges, who remain anonymous, praised her work highly.
“This campaign is planned extraordinarily well,” one judge wrote on Guida’s entry. “I was incredibly impressed by the level of detail provided. It’s clear a lot of time and effort went into this work, and it’s a shining example of a well-developed integrated communications plan.”
Dixie McPherson, an integrated marketing communications May 2017 graduate from Tupelo, also won a Prism award. The judge’s comment on her entry read, “Perfect! This is how it’s done.”
Excellence winners were Amanda Hunt, an IMC December 2017 graduate from Ocean Springs; Mike Haskins, an IMC major from Senatobia; Clifton Carroll, an IMC major from Yazoo City; and Alexa Hart, an IMC December 2017 graduate from Searcy, Arkansas.
Merit winners were Grace Bacon, an IMC May 2017 graduate from Fairhope, Alabama; Kat Balmes, a marketing and corporate relations major from Brandon; Kelly Zeidner, an IMC major from Fort Mill, South Carolina; Parker Maloney, a marketing and corporate relations major from Clinton; Alexa Arguedas, an IMC May 2017 graduate from Madison; and Kaitlin Childress, an IMC major from Brandon.
Childress was also a member of the 30-student team winning a professional Excellence award for the It Starts with (Me)ek campaign. Also representing the team were Bianca Abney, an IMC graduate student from Moss Point; Kayla Beatty, a journalism major from Ocean Springs; Alex Hicks, an IMC graduate student from Meridian; Zach McEwen, an IMC major from McComb; and Kendrick Pittman, an IMC major from Kosciusko.
Four policy experts will confront the ongoing opioid crisis in Mississippi at 2 p.m. Friday, April 20, in the Overby Center auditorium at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media.
As the keynote event of the STEM Festival at the University of Mississippi, the panel will explore policy perspectives and opportunities that could slow the widespread abuse of strong prescription and non-prescription painkillers in Mississippi. Opioids, which include OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and Fentanyl, can cause respiratory failure and death in high doses.
Dr. Ben Banahan, director of the UM Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, is also the project director of the Mississippi Medicaid Evidence-Based Drug Utilization Review Program. He will talk about his work with the Pharmacy Quality Alliance to develop, test and implement opioid-related quality measures, as well as drug utilization review analysis that can help Mississippi Medicaid better manage opioid prescriptions. He will also discuss ways to identify Medicaid beneficiaries at high risk of opioid dependence and abuse for potential intervention and treatment.
Clint Crawford, director of addiction services at Lifecore Health Group in Tupelo, has been working in and around the addiction field in different facets since 1998. He will discuss barriers and inroads to effective substance abuse treatment, as well as safer healthcare and pain management.
“Getting to help patients regain their lives from the grips of the devastating disease of addiction is rewarding beyond words,” he said.
Crawford has authored four books. The latest is The Prison With No Bars: A Book for Families Dealing with Addict Loved Ones, written specifically for use in treatment centers, outpatient programs, and as self-work for friends and families of those struggling with addiction. Crawford, along with Dale Phillips, is the co-founder of the REINS model of equine therapy, an equine therapy model designed to target and treat addiction and trauma.
Chad Clardy, business director of Mid-South for Addiction Campuses in Tupelo, will discuss opportunities for improved opioid addiction treatment in Mississippi. Although an addiction to pain pills nearly cost Clardy his life and his freedom, after only a year of treatment, he landed his first job in the recovery field.
A 2013 graduate of Ole Miss, he has also directed community outreach and marketing and has served in community relations, admissions and drug/alcohol counseling for several area treatment centers, including LifeCore and Oxford Treatment Center.
Dr. Randy Wadkins, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Mississippi, will talk about the role and potential of federal science policy in addressing the epidemic. He has spent over 27 years in cancer research, including stints at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
In 2015-2016, he was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Fellow in the Washington, D.C., office of Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-9; Memphis), where he handled healthcare policy.
The STEM Festival, April 20-21, will celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the University of Mississippi. For more information about the weekend events and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/UMSTEMFest.
The ACT 8 Experience lineup today included a packed schedule of speakers.
Bonnie Kintzer, from Trusted Media Brands, spoke in the first session about recovering the brand from struggle. She returned to Trusted Media Brands, the parent company of Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, and The Family Handyman after its bankruptcy.
“The key is to be adapting and adopting to the changes in culture and technology,” she said.
When Kintzer arrived at Trusted Media Brands, it had not adapted to these changes and was not getting information out to millennial markets focusing on an improved online delivery. Instead, magazines were just mailed. The younger market gets most of their media from the internet.
The company was still producing strong content, but it was reaching all consumers. The internet was needed to achieve that, but the company was not using the latest tech to do it.
“They were focusing on survival, not growth,” Kintzer said.
Shifting the focus to social media and improved web design, they began to bounce back, and now have two of the most popular brands on Pinterest. They focus on responsive, cross-platform design across all devices.
“Our approach is to create a strong personal relationship with the consumer,” she said.
Focusing on readers and analyzing how people interact online boosted the company to its current state. Kintzer said a new wave of employees skilled in both business and tech are needed in the industry now. Editors who can focus on and understand web traffic data are needed to keep business afloat.
By Brian Barisa
Following the Meek School of Journalism and New Media’s Best of Meek and Silver Em awards ceremony last night, students, faculty and guests of the ACT 8 Experience gathered on the lawn in front of Farley Hall for a Southern dinner catered by Taylor Grocery.
If you’re attending the ACT 8 Experience magazine conference this week, use the hashtag #micact8 and @meekjournalism.
University of Mississippi journalism professor Ellen 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. She will sign copies at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, at Square Books in Oxford.
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.”
By Christina Steube