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PI O N E E R I N G When Dr. Doug Ferdon was working in a factory three nights a week as a student at University of Wisconsin, he had no idea he would one day be shaping the next generation of journalists as a professor at Baylor University. Since stepping onto campus in 1982, Ferdon has helped Baylor journalism improve and grow in countless ways. The department celebrates his career and accomplishments as he makes plans for retirement at the end of the spring 2014 semester. As a teenager, Ferdon said was more focused on sports than his studies. He didn’t know what he wanted to do for a living in high school. He didn’t give it much thought. He had a passion for history, but knew he wanted to find a passion that would lead to a secure job. It was Ferdon’s uncle who first sparked his interest in journalism. His uncle worked in printing and thought Ferdon would thrive in the field. Ferdon decided to try journalism because it seemed like a growing field. It was diverse too. He could go into reporting, newswriting, advertising or public relations. He said didn’t know he had found a true calling. Ferdon spent his college years working, making money to pay for school. He didn’t have much time for journalism internships or jobs until he was drafted and sent to Korea. He hadn’t finished his college degree yet but he gained work experience as he worked on a military newspaper abroad. Once he left Korea, his life changed. He met and married his wife Sylvia, then finished his degree. He had a series of journalism jobs that helped him improve his craft. He was hired as a copyeditor at a newspaper in Florida, then became a sports journalist. He loved this work, but his wife’s golf career was taking off and he said he needed flexibility. He just didn’t have a solution yet. Even after all this newsroom experience, Ferdon recalls his interest in teaching as a college student. “In college, I respected people with knowledge,” Ferdon said. He thought his professors were the most skilled, intelligent people he had ever met. He knew he would enjoy being an expert in his field like his professors were. Ferdon received his masters from University of Florida before going to Central Arizona Community College. Here, he stayed busy working a PR job and teaching several courses for a year. He then

PROFESSOR WRITES FINAL CHAPTER AT BAYLOR spent time working at Sam Houston State and Gulf Coast Community College before starting at Baylor in 1982 as an advisor for the Lariat. He completed his Ph.D. at University of North Texas in 1990. Dr. Ferdon has had a wide variety of work experiences in his lifetime. “If you interview journalism professors, they’ll tell you the most fun they ever had was working at a newspaper,” Ferdon said. He explained how the hours were long but how he wouldn’t trade his newspaper experience for anything. He enjoys his job as a professor now because he loves the opportunity to work with young people. “I like everything about being a professor,” Ferdon said. He said he had found his perfect career. Dr. Ferdon has brought important changes to Baylor’s Journalism department since he started working as a professor. He integrated business and journalism by starting a business writing course for students from both the business and journalism departments. This made students more well rounded because they were learning about another field. This was the first time anyone had thought of doing this in the Baylor Journalism department. The biggest change Ferdon made was starting the public relations sequence for journalism majors. More opportunities were available for those who didn’t plan to work in news. The department gained nearly three times more students and twice as many faculty as it had before the sequence was created. Ferdon’s idea expanded the department immensely. Dr. Ferdon plans to retire this year after many years in journalism and at Baylor. Ferdon’s wife retired several years ago and he thought it was about time for him to do the same. “She’s having so much fun, I thought I would try it,” Ferdon said with a laugh. Ferdon already has plans for retirement. He and his wife will move to Wisconsin where much of his


extended family lives. He plans to read, play golf with his wife and enjoy the outdoors. He’ll be back in Texas for the brutal northern winters. Ferdon believes journalism is a great field to find a stable job and to provide an exciting work environment. “It’s as important to find something you’ll like doing as it is to find something that’ll make you money,” Ferdon said. Baylor students and faculty wish him the best as he retires and moves north.



UPDATES FROM COLTON WRIGHT CLASS OF 2010 || Concentration in Public

Relations AFTER GRADUATION || Colton accepted a position as social strategist for The Richards Group in Dallas, Texas. He is responsible for bringing a client’s campaign to life through social media. His tasks include content development, proposing social media strategies and interacting with the client’s community on a day-to-day basis. HIS JOB || At The Richards Group social strategy is not a part of the public relations department, but Colton is confident the skills he learned while attending Baylor helped him land the job. “Hands down, Baylor prepared me for my career. Writing and communicating is the purest essence of what I’m doing, and I thank Baylor for helping me develop skills to be agile and adapt to new situations,” said Wright. ADVICE || Colton thinks interning is critical for current Baylor undergraduate students. “It’s unbelievably competitive getting a job right now. Sometimes, just one position will receive more than 500 resumes. How do you stick out? Internships. Those connections and experiences you build at internships will help you land your first job and beef up your resume so it’s not full of fluff,” said Wright.



JENNY PHILEN CLASS OF 2012 || Concentration in Public

Relations AFTER GRADUATION || Jenny currently works as an assistant account executive at Weber Shandwick in Dallas, Texas. She is responsible for a variety of tasks including media placements, completing extensive client and competitor research, and maintaining several social media pages. PREPARATION || When asked about which courses best prepared her for the public relations industry, Jenny said Advanced PR and PR Agency gave her an idea of what a future position would entail. For Jenny, life after Baylor has its benefits. “A lot of how crazy your day is can be up to you. If you are on top of everything, then most days you get to go home and not worry about anything,” Philen said. ADVICE || Jenny said networking should be a top priority for upcoming Baylor graduates. “I would encourage people to not be afraid of putting yourself out there when you are networking. What is the worst that can happen? Someone doesn’t respond,” Philen said. In addition, Jenny advised students to keep their resume, portfolio and LinkedIn updated. When asked about the best part of full-time employment, Jenny responded, “No Finals!”




Letters of recommendation for graduate and law students, faculty and staff evaluations, class schedules and scholarship applications cover the surface of Dr. Sara Stone’s traditional cherry wood, glass top desk. With more than 40 years of work experience in the field of journalism, Stone serves as chair, professor and acting director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media. She has been employed at Baylor since the fall of 1982. Although her job requires much of her attention, her door is always open to students for those last minuet impromptu meetings. “Being chair of the department, encompasses more paperwork than I ever dreamed,” said Stone. “It seems like someone is always asking for some kind of report, but the students are most important.” Stone earned her Doctorate degree at University of Tennessee and wrote her dissertation on the electronic newspaper. She explained, back in the early 80s electronic communication was relativity new. Only four articles had been written on the topic, two of which were in the U.S., another in India and one in Scandinavia. In spring of 1982 Knoxville, Tenn. hosted the world fair “Knoxville International Energy Exposition”, she said, where she first learned her bank was turning to electronic banking. To her surprise, when she received her monthly statement she found her bank would also offer access to CompuServe, an electronic news provider. She was intrigued, she talked to her dissertation advisor about doing research in this new area and he agreed. She said she learned through her research, that the Associated Press (AP) contracted 11 newspaper companies to participate in an electronic news providing experiment. The AP teamed up with CompuServe and she conducted a study on each one of the newspapers. She found the demographic the AP selected was 95 percent male who where either engineers or in the computer science industry. Furthermore, only 5 percent of their time was spent looking at anything related to news. She concluded this new electronic technology was in search of a demand. She explained, both she and the AP agreed when the time comes there would not be a public referendum. When publishers realize they can save the bulk of their cost on production and delivery, than the public would have no choice, digital communication would replace traditional media. When we fast-forward 31 years later, we can see Dr. Stone and the AP were spot on. Not only have electronic services like Craigslist replaced print classified advertising, it is now less expense to print and deliver the news because of the Internet. “The last time I taught Reporting and Writing, three years ago, not one of my students had a newspaper delivered to their home,” said Stone. “This has been true for the last five years.” As chair, Stone ensures Baylor’s journalism department remains one of only 111 journalism programs are accredited across the country. Her goal of 15 students per professor is at the top of her list. Baylor is committed to providing the best possible curriculum and state-of-the-art laboratories accessible to each student. Stone encourages students who are interested in journalism to come and apply at Baylor. Although the delivery platform is changing there is still a great need for people who can decipher information and share it in an ethical and compelling fashion. “We drown in information today,” said Stone. “Having someone who can make sense of all of it is more important than ever. You can’t get out of our department without being able to communicate well.”



DE PA R TME N T A 360 Life: Dr. ‘B’ on Teaching PR Students How to Find Success in Their Careers

Dr. Cassy Burleson, or more commonly known as “Dr. B”, is a Senior Lecturer in the public relations department at Baylor. Every public relations student has passed through her door, either fearing or anticipating her Advanced PR course. When glancing at Dr. Burleson’s resume, one will notice her expertise doesn’t lie in public relations alone. She has worked as a journalist for several newspapers, a security fraud investigator (where she received her private investigator license), and even dabbled in the occasional poetry reading. “I’ve done a lot of the things you can do with a degree in journalism, public relations and new media, which enriches my teaching. And I think you’d find the same thing of most teachers in our department. It’s a 360 degree kind of education rather than just a theoretical or just a practical education,” Dr. Burleson said. In her spare time, Dr. B serves as sponsor of Baylor Crew. She is awaiting the 2014 release of Her Texas: Story, Image & Song, a book she co-authored earlier this year. Even though Dr. B has several outside projects, one stands out from the rest. She is extremely passionate about her ongoing longitudinal study on the affects of the 1998 Byrd dragging death in Jasper, Texas. “When I started the

project, I was getting my Master’s in Journalism at Baylor,” Dr. Burleson said. It’s been 15 years since the small Texas town first caught her attention, and it hasn’t stopped since. “Jasper continues to fascinate me, and the people there continue to be an ongoing drama,” Dr. Burleson said. Dr. B teaches more than textbook public relations, she brings with her a life full of experiences and tremendous wisdom. Her students walk out of class confidently knowing how to pitch to the media, the in’s and out’s of AP style, and never to use the word ‘that’ while writing. When asked what she wants students to leave with, Dr. B said, “The knowledge that there’s more than one thing you need to know how to do. And the ability to get a job. Where they want to, when they want to, doing what they want to do so they can earn a living. And still enjoy life.” Dr. B is all about enjoying life. Her cup is always half full, and her kind—but tough—spirit is known by many.


S POT L II GH T Fulbright Program Opens Door to International Study and Research for Baylor Journalists

For four Baylor journalism students over the last six years, journalism led to life-changing experiences abroad through the Fulbright Program. The department’s most recent Fulbright scholar, Brent Salters, prepares to start his Fulbright term teaching at a university in Moldova. “I am teaching English and communication skills, while representing the United States as a cultural ambassador,” Salters said. He said his foundation as a Baylor student led to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “As an incoming freshman, I was determined to become a doctor. Now,I’m teaching classes at a university in Moldova. There were obviously some big changes that took place during my four years at Baylor,” Salters said. He did the public relations track as a journalism student. Now he hopes to become a public relations professional for an international corporation or government entity someday. What better way to learn about international work than through this selective program? The Fulbright Program allows competitive professionals to travel abroad to teach in a university setting, study and conduct research in their field. The program gives out 8,000 grants annually to U.S. citizens. It’s extremely competitive, as many people apply in hopes of getting to participate. It’s an accomplishment that Baylor journalism prepared so many students to participate in the Fulbright Program. Senator J. William Fulbright started the program in 1946. It now operates in over 155 countries. Former Fulbright scholars have won Nobel Prizes and Pulitzer Prizes, making the program one of the most highly respected. The application is a rigorous process. Salters said, “I actually spent more months preparing my



application than I will spend during my Fulbright term in Moldova.” He says he only had to write two statements in the application process. It took him ten months to write and revise these statements. All this time was worth it though. He earned a spot in the exclusive program, working as a Fulbright English teaching assistant. His Fulbright term will end June 2014. Salters is gaining a unique education through this program. “A person can read many books and acquire knowledge of a country, but true understanding isn’t gained until he or she is transplanted and immersed in that culture,” he said. This experience is an exciting application of what Salters learned in the journalism department at Baylor. Salters believes in what Baylor Journalism is doing to prepare students for the future. He encourages students by saying every assignment is making them into better journalists. “From meticulous fact checking to staying up through the night working on projects, know that each assignment is making you an unparalleled journalist,” he said. He believes Baylor faculty is unlike any other. “At every turn, remember an entire university and journalism faculty will support and ‘guide us as we onward go,’” he said. Salters attributes his success to the education he got at Baylor. Because of his foundations, he’s ready to expand his knowledge in a new culture.

L A DO L C E V II TA Jellyfish, salty air, a warm sun and smooth Italian opera — to the casual observer, it sounds like a dream-come-true vacation. Instead, it was just another school day for Austin senior Natalie Fletcher, who chose to study at the Baylor in Florence Field School. “We cruised around the island of Capri. The water was bright blue. It was beautiful,” she said. Experiences like this were commonplace during her summer stay in Italy. The Florence Field School is a program offered by the Journalism Department as a way to allow students to build portfolios while immersed in Italian culture. It’s offered every summer. The program is unique because it allows students to spend time in one city, getting to know the local color. Students in the program spend five days in Rome before settling in Florence and traveling during the weekends to places like Sorento, Pompeii and the Isle of

Capri. In addition, students have the opportunity to plan their own trips during their spare time. Fletcher said she enjoyed staying in one city because it gave her a chance to feel at home. Fletcher made friends in Florence and became a regular at her favorite spots. It didn’t feel like study abroad to her, she said, it felt like home. Victoria senior Lexey Long said she even felt like a local while she was in Florence. “I stopped feeling like a tourist and started embracing the local markets and restaurants tucked away down the tiny side streets,” Long said. Fletcher echoed Long’s statement: “You get to become a local for a month,” she said. Students live in Italian apartments next to local families, visit markets and cook their own food. Free cooking lessons are offered to students on the trip so they can cook like locals. “I was able to see and write about things that were so unique; from drifting down the canals of Venice to taking in the breathtaking sights of Capri, everything inspired new ideas,” Long said. She said Italy sparked her creativity in a way she never expected. Apart from allowing students to experience Italian culture, the program focuses on teaching journalism skills. Students spend time perfecting content to use in their portfolios, which is why only 15 to 20 students are allowed to participate each summer.

Baylor Journalism Students Study and Live The Good Life in Italy


“The small group size allows one-on-one instruction,” said trip supervisor Maxey Parrish, a senior lecturer in the department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media. The students receive personal feedback from their instructors. “I enjoyed getting to know my professors on the trip,” Fletcher said. “I know if I needed something, any of them would do it for me,” she said. The small class size made this possible. Students only spend about three hours in class each day. They tour the city with local professors who are experts in the field during this time. Field school, indeed. “It’s like they’re getting college lectures on the sights,” Parrish said. The lessons are hands-on, allowing students to experience the places they learn about each week. The trip is built for journalism students, but the program welcomes students from all disciplines. Students take two courses: one in photojournalism and one in writing. Course offerings are flexible for those in other majors. Costs are estimated to be $11,756 for summer 2014. This includes flights ($1,498), tuition ($1,498 per course hour) and a program fee ($4,150). Housing, transportation and meals are covered by the program fee. Students may extend their stay in Italy at their own expense if they wish. These figures are subject to change as students commit to going on the trip. Scholarships for study abroad are available. Students can email Parrish at for more information. Students can apply at





Baylor Students Perfect Video and Photography Skills for The Future With today’s evolving technology, journalism is changing. Stories are being told in new ways. “Newspapers aren’t dying, they’re evolving. Now photos and video are critical to telling stories,” Baylor full-time lecturer Curtis Callaway said. Baylor’s journalism department offers a variety of photography and video journalism classes taught by award-winning faculty so students are prepared to work in journalism in a digital age. Callaway believes photography and video abilities will make a journalist well rounded. “You need to have the proper tools in order to compete in today’s job market.” His classes help give students the tools they need to succeed. There’s proof Baylor’s photography and video journalism classes are worthwhile. Many Baylor journalism alumni have gone into photography or video journalism as a career. They are based in different cities all over the country. Some are based in Dallas shooting wedding photography or portraits, one is shooting commercial and sports photography in Denver and yet another shot photos for Compassion International in Africa. Callaway recalled many successful alumni who took photography classes at Baylor. Each semester, five classes are offered in this area available to all students at Baylor:


Media Photography I, Media Photography II, Advanced Photography, History of Photography and Video Journalism. The department offers a photojournalism minor to students interested in this area. Professor Curtis Callaway instructs Media Photography I and Video Journalism. He is just one of the esteemed faculty members teaching photography and video courses though. Prof. Rod Aydelotte and associate professor Dr. Clark Baker have expansive experience in the field as well. Aydelotte teaches Media Photography I and II, while Baker teaches Media Photography I, Advanced Photography and History of Photography. Callaway said multiple times that writing is most important. A photographer with the ability to write a good story has a better chance of succeeding. On photo and video he said, “You need to


be versatile. You need a solid skill set.” The ability to tell a story through a camera sets Baylor students above their competitors. Baylor’s photo and video classes take students beyond the basic foundations. These classes make students into professionals each year. They make them into people companies want to hire.

B R E AK II NG Into The World of Sports Through Radio

For many football fans, writing about the sport they love is nothing more than an impossible dream, but not for Daniel Hill. As a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan, Hill wrote the article “Why Seattle Is a Great Fit” in 2012, which includes football star, Peyton Manning’s, potential destinations. The article received more than 10,000 hits. His passion and enthusiasm about sports make his articles come alive for his readers, and offer unique perspectives about the world of sports. With job employment references from players like Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III, the sky is the limit for Hill. “I like telling the stories,” said Hill. I like adding my own analysis and getting feed back.” Hill, a senior from Seattle, is a double major in news editorial and English. He is the sports editor for the Baylor Lariat and co-host the “Don’t Feed the Bears with Daniel Hill and Greg Devries” sports recap audio and video podcast show. He explained their show is downloaded in all 50 states and its received at least 200 hits for every show aired in the last few months. Working for the Lariat comes with great advantages.

Last April, Hill traveled on assignment to New York City to cover the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). “The Lariat paid for my airfare and hotel,” Hill said. “For a week, I stayed in downtown Manhattan and got courtside seats to the championship game where Baylor defeated Iowa. The best part of my trip was exploring NYC after the game.” Over the past two summers, Hill has interned at 710 ESPN Seattle, a sports radio station where he has worked with celebrity sportscaster and the voice of the former Seattle SuperSonics NBA franchise and Seattle Storm, Kevin Calabro. Hill, who will graduate in May 2014, will be the third person in his family to earn a degree from Baylor University. His mother, Shari Hill, graduated with a degree in nursing and older brother Joshua, double majored in business management and marketing. His career goal is to become a sports radio host and write for a website. He advises prospective journalism students not to be afraid to aim high. “Set a goal and go for it,” said Hill. “Don’t let any obstacles get in the way. The staff here at Baylor will encourage you and help you reach that goal.”



Honor Society Recognizies Top Seniors There are few things that make college students feel more accomplished than being inducted into an elite honor society. Spring senior Melissa Kasper said, “I would encourage people to make small goals each semester and to not lose sight of their grades as the years go on.” Kasper proved she never lost sight of her goals when she was inducted into Baylor’s Laurel chapter of national college senior honor society Mortar Board. Mortar Board is a selective organization recognizing college seniors for scholarship, leadership and service. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 for all coursework. Students who join each year must plan on graduating before the next school year begins. Students from all disciplines come together to form the organization. Since it was founded in 1918, 230 chapters have been created nationwide. There have been over a quarter of a million students inducted into the society over the years. “In order to participate you attend monthly meetings and serve on a committee for one of the four big events we have each year,” Kasper said. Students are expected to devote themselves to the chapter and to attend monthly obligations. The few commitments are a small price to pay for the honor that comes with being a Mortar Board member.


“Mortar Board is certainly something that carries weight and would be something I wouldn’t hesitate to talk about with a potential employer,” Kasper said. She believes Mortar Board will be helpful in finding a job when she graduates. The organization is recognized among employers as an elite group of students. For more information about Mortar Board, please contact Dr. James SoRelle at James_Sorelle@ or Dr. Mona Choucair at Mona_Choucair@


L A R II AT When you open the glass doors you’re welcomed by the fresh smell of coffee, surrounded by the mirage of curious people typing or conducting phone interviews, developing that perfect story. When you finally take it all one, you can’t but help but notice the wall of awards. Prestige and recognition are nothing new for the Baylor Lariat as it continues to rack up multiple awards on a yearly basis, which include winning Best Student Newspaper in Texas by the Houston Press Club for four years in a row. “It means a lot to win four in a row because it means you established yourself among other Texas collegiate newspapers,” Greg Devries, editorin-chief of the Baylor Lariat, said. “Being the best in Texas is a bigger deal than being the best in another smaller state because of the competition here. It’s great to be recognized atop of other quality newspapers.” The award season hasn’t finished yet and the Baylor Lariat has already received more than 120 awards including 46 national awards. Some of the awards include, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Associated Collegiate Press, College Media Association, Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and Society of Professional Journalists. While the advisors are proud of all the awards the newspaper receives, they are more focused on finding ways for students to hone their skills. “Awards are never the end goal, it’s just a by-product,” Julie Freeman, assistant media advisor of the Baylor Lariat, said. “Our focus is to improve the training and to give the students more experience to improve their skills and as that happens we will get more awards because the quality of the work will improve.” Lariat workers as well as the advisors receive training and constant feedback to help enhance the different skill positions. Every year before school starts, the Lariat has an orientation in which they bring in speakers from different departments and organizations to give advice to students. For example, this year the students had sessions in multimedia, social media, libel laws, sports writing, relations with public officials and more. The Lariat provides a unique collaborative environment allowing for constant communication between the advisors, editors, writers and photographers. Instead of working in silos, the students interact with one another to produce the best paper possible. The Lariat is operated like the newsrooms of

Collegiate Newspaper Continues on Winning Streak

professional publications. Students have a unique opportunity to not only hone their writing skills, but also to meet how to meet deadlines, how to edit, how to proof, how to prepare, how to plan, how to plan ahead for major projects. There’s a shift in media as journalism continues to evolve, so the Lariat had to adjust. In addition to building the name of the paper, another goal Devries has is to increase web content and to create a foothold in social media. “Electronic media is where society is, so we have to keep up with that as well” Paul Carr, Baylor Lariat advisor, said. “In this last year we institutionalized it as part of the job descriptions for different positions within the newsroom.” The Lariat has added new positions dealing specifically with social media and multimedia to increase its digital presence. With the goal of going digital first, the Lariat is committed to finding the information and getting it out to its audience as quickly as possible. Despite the emphasis on digital media, the Lariat continues to produce print because it’s important for students to develop their design and thinking skills required for news organizations. It’s not easy to outdo the previous year, but the Lariat is committed to producing quality work. While great writing is a critical skill, having the right people for the task is a constant struggle every semester. “The first challenge was assembling a team that I would believe in,” Devries said. “Now it’s just a matter of everyone hitting a rhythm at the same point and consistently putting out quality work. If we do that on a regular basis the awards will follow.” Writing skills can be improved and with the training put in place, it’s easy to see why the Lariat always ranks among the best. The difference has been hiring the right people who are passionate about news and want to produce the best work possible.




No Snap Shots Here: Grad Student Traverses Photography Industry Kyle Beam was assigned the interview every college journalism student hoped they would get. He got goose bumps on his arms when he stepped inside the tour bus. The red mahogany table where he placed his laptop had a smooth woodgrain finish and the white marble tile floors were immaculate. He was taken aback by how refined everything was. Beam sat eagerly, waiting at the table, his right leg shaking restlessly. He only had one chance to get it right. He stood politely as Willie Nelson approached the table wearing his traditional black T-shirt, black cowboy hat and his trademark long braids. “I sat with Willie Nelson’s in his tour bus for 30 minutes,” said Beam. “I was sitting next to a county legend whose music I’ve listened to throughout the years and have watched on TV. Frankly, it was intimidating, but when the interview was over I had a regular conversation with him,” Beam said. Beam, who graduates in May 2014, is a professional photographer from Houston, working to earn a Master of Arts in journalism. He graduated number six in his class from Channelview High School and became the first in his family to earn a college degree in 2012, when he graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. Coming to Baylor was an easy choice for Beam. “If you work hard, Baylor offers great scholarships,” said Beam. “For relatively the same cost as a public institution, one can

attend a private school. The classes are small here, which means more one-on-one time with professors.” Throughout his college career Beam worked on many projects including, “In The Shadow of a King” – The Tommy Duncan Story, a documentary on the pioneer of American Western swing music. Working on this project allowed Beam the opportunity to interview Willie Nelson. His portfolio includes photographs taken while on various locations throughout Texas and New Mexico with his mentor, photography Professor Curtis Callaway. Having good photography skills is invaluable in the field of journalism. Beam took his first excellent shot in January 2011 at Nolan River in North Central Texas. In order to get the best shot, Beam was willing to go the extra mile. He explained, the temperature was in the 20s, and he was standing in the middle of the river with ice around his boots. Beam’s current projects include working on his thesis and photography work for Diana Garland, Baylor University’s dean of social work’s upcoming book. Beam’s thesis will be a photo exhibit of Big Bend National Park. He said he hopes to show Big Bend as the last frontier of unchanged landscape. His advice to perspective journalism students is to think of journalism as more than newspapers and magazines. In his opinion, journalism is pubic relations and communication. “We have the option to work for a corporation or a non-profit,” said Beam. “The sky is the limit because everybody needs someone who knows how to communicate and write well to get a message across. Journalism not only provides the writing aspect of it, but it also teaches you to have an eye for detail.”

PRO GR AMS 20 How To Get into Graduate School: Three Easy Steps

STEP 1 Decide which degree plan you want to pursue. The Master of the Arts is for the student who

wants to work in any field of journalism from corporations, non-profits and the academia. This track is geared towards researching traditional theories like the Gate Keepers Theory or the Framing Theory and how new media and social media have changed them. It requires 36 academic hours, including three hours for a thesis or research project. The Masters of International Journalism also requires classes in research and theory; however, students will also intern abroad in a country of their choice for an entire semester. This option requires 30 semester hours plus a six-hour internship abroad.


Sign up to take the Graduate Record Examination. The GRE is a general standardized test that is required before a student is accepted into the graduate program. The cost for completing the examination range from $160 to $190. The scoring scale for the GRE is 130 to 170 for the verbal and quantitative section of the exam and 0 to 6 for the analytical writing section. The student should score at least a 151 on the Verbal section, a 147 on the Quantitative section and a 3.9 on the Analytical Writing section and of the exam. Test results submitted to the department must be less than five years old. When applying, submit your official transcripts and three letters of recommendation to the Graduate Admissions office.


Meet all application and scholarship deadlines. The deadline for applying to the graduate program for the fall semester is February 15. The spring semester deadline is December 1 and applications for the summer semester are due by May 1. Students seeking department financial aid should write a letter addressed to Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez describing their situation and why they require aid by March 1. Department aid is awarded once a year so it’s imperative students meet this deadline. Graduate school can be affordable. There are programs available for students who need financial aid. A student can apply for federal loans, personal loans, scholarships, grants and an assistantship. Students needing federal financial aid must apply through the Baylor financial aid office. An assistantship requires a student to work for a faculty member up to 10 hours a week while earning a stipend. Tuition remission is also available to students who work for Baylor University.


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Score high on the GRE Have competitive grade point average as an undergrad Intern, intern, intern! Internship are invaluable; especially, if you want to make a great first impression



Student’s Drive to Overcome Abusive Past Shapes Bright Future Unaware that prominent members of the university would be in attendance, Sahara Price’s heart raced and her palms tingled as she ran through her speech in her head. Ken Starr and Kenneth L. Hall were seated at her table, right at her side, increasing her nervousness at speaking in front of an audience of 200. It was the night of the Student Foundation Scholarship banquet, and all she could think was that she never planned to be a public speaker, but she never planned to be a survivor of domestic abuse, either. That day, however, she was both. “I just tried to pretend that I was rehearsing again and told myself if I messed up I could recover,” said Price. “It wasn’t like if I stuttered they would boo me off the stage. It was my story and no one knew it better than me.” She said she decided to speak out against domestic abuse because she wants to reach others who are experiencing, or have experienced, abuse and give them hope. Having endured and overcome abuse, she wants people to know that no matter how hard a situation seems they can get beyond it. Even though the past may have changed things about them, she explained, it does not have to define them. They still have an unwritten future. Price was invited to speak at the banquet, where she received a scholarship from the Baylor Student Foundation. In her speech she explained how she overcame the mental abuse she suffered from her father, by focusing on her studies. “I will never forget something my mom told me my freshmen year of high school,” said Price. “She said, ‘School is your way out of all this. You only have a few more years, and then you can go away to college,’ so I followed her advice.” Price, who will graduate in May 2015, is a junior majoring in public relations with a concentration in business and in marketing and an English minor. She divides her time between school and her internships at KWBU FM and Baylor University Press. Last year, Price served as a reporter for KWBU, a non-profit station that runs national segments from NPR. This semester, she works in marketing. Her goal, she said, is to expand the station’s audience to reach the journalism and marketing departments at Baylor. Her marketing responsibilities at Baylor University Press, a publishing company that publishes about 30 books a year, include event planning, creating posters and fliers and contacting those hosting events for the press to ensure they have everything they need. Price’s internship career does not end here; last summer she interned at Pitch Control PR in New York City. While there, she was in charge of press coverage, sending media alters, updating the company Twitter and pitching ideas for clients and local media. Her office was located inside the Empire State Building. For Price, balancing schoolwork and her internships keep her motivated to continue looking forward. “Sometimes when I’m worried about meeting a deadline at work or studying for a test,” Price said. “ I just take a deep breath and tell myself ‘I’ve been through worse, and I can make it through this.’”



Student Balances Classes and Geo-Political Career

It was a typical morning at work for Krisha Johansen. She sat at her quaint 3-by-4-foot cherry wood desk, editing paperwork and trying not to spill her tea — Tazo Awake black tea with honey and lemon, her favorite — as she reached across her desk to retrieve a pen. The telephone rang. She was working on a letter for her boss. She let it ring again. She didn’t want to stop until she had finished one last sentence. The call was the sort that happened often in that office, a request for her boss, Lyndon Lowell Olson, former U.S. ambassador to Sweden, to have dinner with a colleague. However, Johansen was shocked when she heard Nancy Pelosi’s voice on the other end of the line. “I was really nervous when I realized who I was talking to,” said Johansen. “I stuttered a little. Our conversation was relatively short, thank goodness. Pelosi was kind, but she’s incredibly powerful.” Johansen, a public relations major at Baylor University, is the executive assistant to former U.S. Ambassador, Lyndon Lowell Olson, Jr. Both she and the ambassador are under contract with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a global public relations company with 89 offices in 52 countries. Her job responsibilities vary from assisting Ambassador Olsen with his upcoming opinion editorial, to working on a high-speed rail project that will reduce the commute time between Houston to Dallas to a little over an hour. She is also responsible for writing news correspondence, editing speeches and general administrative work. Before coming to Baylor, Johansen studied broadcast journalism at Sam Houston State and at the University of North Texas (UNT). She explained she struggled academically at UNT, but she will never forget what happen on Feb. 15, 2010. “I heard God speak to me for the first time in my life,” said Johansen. “It was time for me to go home to be with my parents.” She said she withdrew from the university, moved to Waco and began volunteering in Congressman Chet Edwards’ campaign for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. That November, however, Edwards lost the re-election to Bill Flores. Ambassador Olson was looking to hire an assistant, since the campaign was over, she explained, Edwards strongly recommended her for the position. She had a breakfast meeting with Ambassador Olson and he hired her on the spot. “There was one condition,” said Johansen. “He asked I go back school.” She accepted his work offer and his condition and enrolled at Baylor University in the fall of 2012. Since then she has made the Dean’s Academic Honor List and has joined Alpha Chi and Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society. Johansen will graduate in May of 2014 and plans to attend graduate school at the University of Texas, while continuing her political work. Johansen advises students seeking a career in public relations to be ready to work. “Be ready to put in the hours,” she said. “Go into it with an open mind because you could look at a situation one way, but you must also look at it from the other side. You need to be rational, especially in a crisis.”









Baylor University Journalism, Public Relations & New Media Magazine