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Spring 2016 • Jaguar Student Media Texas A&M University-San Antonio

FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to ROAM Magazine Welcome to ROAM Magazine, the newest addition to Jaguar Student Media at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. In this inaugural issue, our purpose is tell the story of how Jaguar Student Media was created and the path it’s taking in the future. The goal of ROAM Magazine, shared among the students who produced this first issue, is to publish stories that matter about the community we serve in the South Side of San Antonio. This pilot issue, produced as part of learning laboratory in the Communication Program, will help incoming Communication students understand the legacy they will build upon as future storytellers. The stories, ranging from new social media tools to how we started as a program, will teach incoming Communication students about growing a strong community and culture. As we’re learning here at the university, the great thing about a new product is that it can evolve and change. My team and I hope this magazine will serve as the start of an annual interdisciplinary magazine with a changing theme. We also hope to invite students across the College of Arts and Sciences to produce and submit content that reflects the diversity of our campus population and neighboring community. I thank everyone who made this publication possible. Crowdfunding efforts to print the magazine revealed how many people are rooting for our success. Thank you for believing that student media can make a difference in the world. I thank the reporters who gave their all to create something that will last as long as the university stands. Enjoy the issue! Ingrid Wilgen

STAFF Editor in Chief: Ingrid Wilgen Executive Editor: Mari Benavides Art Director: Joe Turner Copy Editors: Lily Teran Creative Director: Yuri Mota



Creative Team: Cindy Castellanos Manuel Figueroa Valeria Gallegos Cassandra Hernandez Felicia Palomo David Perez Karenna Reyna Angie Saenz

Writers: Destiny Castañeda Priscilla Degollado Bronwyn Harrison Faculty Advisor Rocelyn Dunston


From Scratch: The How & Why Behind our Magazine Steady Growth with a Focus on Students Bootcamp Prepares Students for Semester in the Newsroom Jaguar Student Media: Covers University Transitions A Mother’s Journey

4 6 8 9 10

Top 10 Apps for Students Job Search Ready Social Media Social Media: LinkedIn Balance What You Eat, Drink and Do Fashion 101: The Student Fashion Guide Why I started meal planning and how you can, too Transitioning from Student to Professional

20 21 22 23 24 26 27


Course 101: Required Classes 16 Faculty Spotlight: Jenny Moore 17 Course 101: Photography 18 Course 101: Public Relations 19

Scholarships, Student Clubs & Organizations Student and Professional Collaborations Increase Learning



28 29

Cover Photography by: Joe Turner Cover Art by: Bronwyn Harrison

© Copyright Jaguar Student Media. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited. ROAM Magazine uses all the materials with permission from the owners. 2016 ©



From Scratch: The How & Why Behind Our Magazine

Written By: Mari Benavides

It started with an idea: Texas A&M-San Antonio’s Communication program should have a student-run magazine. As Jaguar Student Media continues to grow, expanding the facilities available for students to learn all different forms of media, a student run magazine just makes sense. So, how did we start? We began with innovation and ideas. As a next step, during the spring of 2015 Professor Rocelyn Dunston offered her Publication Design & Production class, a fast-paced introduction to magazine production. “I work with a lot of people who have the same type of background as the students here, and what is normally lacking in their skill set is the ability to use design software,” Dunston explained when asked about what motivated her to teach production classes. “Being able to use design software will give communication students an advantage in the workplace.” Jenny Moore, director of Student Media, encouraged her students to launch their own magazine. She started by teaching courses in creative nonfiction and searching for a faculty member with a strong design background. “That’s where I came in,” Dunston said. As an established photographer and graphic designer, Professor Dunston also serves as a Creative Director at the UT Health Science Center. Her own experience and enthusiasm to start the first student-run magazine at Texas A&M–San Antonio helped encourage students to take on the project. The magazine will come out annually each spring and expand into an interdisciplinary magazine featuring the work of student journalists and those studying English, sociology, history and other majors in the College of Arts & Sciences. As the newest product produced by Jaguar Student Media, we welcome student feedback and participation. 4


Everybody reads magazines. When I was browsing the course catalog for the spring 2016 semester, a class called Magazine Design immediately jumped out at me. How interesting, I thought. And really…how hard could it be? After a semester of trying to learn the ins and outs, working and bickering together as a team, and finally releasing our very first issue, let me tell you – it’s not as easy as it looks. We started with staff assignments. Professor Dunston told us that we would produce a complete magazine, and that in order to emulate real world experience we all had to apply for staff positions. With a staff in place, our first order of business was one of the most important aspects of starting a magazine: We needed a name. Trying to get 16 people, all with different likes and styles, to agree on one name was a bit of a challenge. Ideas were voted down as quickly as they were thought up, until art committee member Manuel Figueroa randomly said, “What about ‘Roam’?”

“Roam? Why Roam?” we asked, skeptical. “Well, jaguars roam,” he replied. It seemed so simple; ROAM. And just like that, we had a name! Our design committees came up with terrific logo ideas, and after another round of voting, our staff was able to narrow it down to one. “The goal was to keep the logo simple, with clean lines, and a straightforward style,” Figueroa said. Design committee member David Perez created the final version of our logo. “Manuel had the basic concept, and I just worked off of that and adapted it,” Perez explained.

making sure our magazine was complete and had content we could all stand behind. Our instructor kept us all on point, emphasizing the importance of meeting deadlines and staying on task. There were some slight disputes regarding ideas and concepts, but in the end everyone pulled together for the inaugural issue of Roam. We did it. We actually put together a full-fledged student run magazine with only 15 production days. We were even able to get it printed! Creative Director Yuri Mota insightfully summed up our class experience; “There was a lot of teamwork, and organization and the creation of something new. And that is something really unique.”


With a name and logo in place, we started to really feel like we had something great to work with. Classes included staff meetings, where we pitched story ideas and had writing assignments. Every person in class was required to write at least one piece that would appear in the final product. People were constantly working on layouts and articles, and there was a continuous flow of ideas on what might make Roam work. With only 15 class days to take this idea and turn it into a legitimate student magazine, the pressure was on. As a class full of 16 students with different interests and backgrounds, we were able to find some common ground in regards to why we took Magazine Design. As communication students, learning about different forms of media and types of writing is something we all think is important. And I mean come on, Magazine Design…it just sounds like a good time! Art Director Joe Turner echoed the sentiments of several students when he said,

“I wanted to get more experience in publication and production design, as well as designing with Adobe software.”


Like several other classmates, Team Designer Angie Saenz had taken Dunston’s publication class the previous semester and really liked it. “I learned all about InDesign software, and my instructor had talked about this class and the overall concept of doing the magazine. That was intriguing to me and I immediately signed up.” Team Designer Cindy Castellanos is anticipating her in class experience will be something she can apply to her job. “I currently work in communications at Citibank, and I thought it would be a fun class to take while allowing me to develop and polish skills that will help me to get to the next level.” Being part of the first Magazine Design class did have limitations. Funding through Jaguar Student Media was limited for the pilot edition, so printing our magazine had to be crowdfunded. As a class, we really wanted a tangible product we could hold. Ingrid Wilgen, our editor-in-chief, came up with the idea of setting up a GoFund Me account. “We needed money, and had to come up with it on our own. So we did,” she said with a laugh. The proceeds from that account, along with some advertising spaces, enabled us to print out our very first issue. As editor-in-chief, Wilgen learned about the development aspect of magazine production. “I thought it was going to be an easier process than what it actually was. It’s work!” she exclaimed, “but it helped me learn how to organize large projects and was a great exercise in project management.” Our whole staff acknowledged the benefits this class offered us, from working in team settings to having a fast-paced and professional environment. It was a fun way to improve our communication skills and expand those skills into beneficial tools we will be able to take with us into the workforce. As deadlines approached, we could feel the pressure of ROAM







here is something about being the first. Professor Jenny Moore in 2008 started a journalism program with few resources. Students used their laptops to crank out copy for student publications. “Wherever we were became the newsroom,” Moore said. The first newsroom was an elementary school classroom. Three years later, after a temporary home at Brooks City Base Campus, the Communication program would move into a new home designed with storytellers in mind. In the beginning, as Texas A&M-San Antonio’s permanent campus was under construction, classes were held at Gillette Elementary, 1450 Gillette Blvd, (a former elementary school site leased by the university), and Kazen Middle School, which allowed the use of their classrooms in the evening. Professor Moore recalls her first class was an 8 a.m. feature writing class in the summer of 2008. “What floored me was that there were students who were going to A&M-San who had originally attended Gillette Elementary.” Mass Communications Professor Dr. Brian Brantley, joined Professor Moore fall 2009. “I had two classes that were in an adjoining structure next to the Gillette Elementary campus,” Brantley said, “and then I had one class that was at the middle school next door.” At that time, only 22 communication students were enrolled in the program.



Written By: Ingrid Wilgen

Texas A&M-San Antonio’s exponential growth has attributed to the changes in the communications program and culture. The school’s continued growth lead to its name change and in 2014, Texas A&M University-San Antonio separated from Kingsville by obtaining independent accreditation. Together, faculty decided they were going to build the only affordable journalism program at a public university in San Antonio. During the first year of production, students with little resources published a magazine called El Trovador. Alumnus Shaun Springfield was its first editor-in-chief. “The students who were doing news reporting for El Trovador … any calls they made to sources were on their cell phones, anything they wrote was on a laptop, if they had one,” Dr. Brantley said. The elementary school cafeteria was the only common space in the whole university, so interviews with sources tended to happen there, he said. “That has been a huge culture shift, from finding a room where ever you could find it to having some of the best facilities of any program on (the A&M San Antonio) campus,” Brantley said.

Professor Jerry Townsend started teaching at the Brooks campus spring 2014. What impressed him was the easy-going undercurrent of the newsroom and the maturity and engagement of the students, he said. “There were soft chairs and funny stuff all around; it had plenty of atmosphere,” Townsend said. The program facilities transformed from a windowless junior high classroom with five or six computers to 12 MACs with 21 ½ inch screens, he said. Students now have access to two computer labs, photojournalism equipment, and more course choices with the addition of new professors. A comfortable student lounge and kitchenette has become a common area for reporters to do interviews, brainstorm stories or just take a rest. Enrollment is steadily rising. In 2015, the program had 104 communication majors. Along with new students new media platforms are being created. Students launched The Mesquite, a student-led online newspaper, in 2011. As part of the learning lab, students cover South Side news, community events, and campus happenings. Oscar Gonzales, the 2015-2016 editor-in-chief, launched Jagcast, an in-depth podcast that interviews community and campus newsmakers. As the communications program grows, the mission stays the same. “I always want our core focus to be journalism,” Dr. Brantley said. “ I think that is what we do best now, and we should maintain that.” With journalism changing its business model, communication programs are working hard to prepare marketable students for employment. “The field is not collapsing it is just changing,” Dr. Brantley said. “It is our responsibility to prepare students for whatever there is out there. That is why we require students to take photojournalism.” They will leave this university knowing not only how to write a story but how to tell it visually because that is where the industry is going, Dr. Brantley said. Texas A&M–San Antonio is unique from more established programs because its new communications program is structured to grow easily with the changing field. He reminds students that our business is storytelling, so excel at it. PHOTOS BY INGRID WILGEN



Bootcamp Prepares Students for Semester in the Newsroom Written By: Angie Saenz

Twice a year, Texas A&M University–

as local guest speakers from Univision, KENS-5 and other local media outlets. Ingrid Wilgen, communication senior and photo editor, attended the training in 2015 and was a presenter for the “Reporters and Photographers Working Together” session. Wilgen said, “I think we got our message across well.” At the end of each training, students must pass a Student Media policies exam showing their proficiency and preparation for the upcoming semester. Faculty advisers present students with tools of the trade -- an ample supply of business cards, reporters notebooks, and a laminated press pass. To inquire about the Jaguar Student Media Training, contact Jaguar Student Media at (210) 784-1050 or email Professor Jenny Moore at jenny.moore@


San Antonio’s Communication Program offers a unique opportunity for student reporters and photographers to build hands-on production skills in preparation to take on semester-long staff roles with The Mesquite, the campus’s award-winning digital news site. The two-day bootcamp, led by senior-level reporters, came about after students visited other regional student newsrooms and learned how to offer intensive team building and workshops for their classmates. Student team members made the program a reality while learning professional training facilitated by the College Media Association. The biannual bootcamp, required for student reporters who are about to begin their junior year, began in 2012. The goal of the two-day workshop is to provide a real understanding of the responsibilities

of a campus reporter and photographer, and build camaraderie with teammates. The two-day training was originally offered the Saturday and Sunday before to the start of each term, but after discovering many of the students work on the weekends, student editors moved the program to the second week of the spring and fall semesters. This allowed more students to participate and benefit from the training. “The number of participants has ranged from 10 to 35 and fluctuates based on enrollment in our required reporting and photography classes,” said Professor Jenny Moore, director of Jaguar Student Media. The training sessions, led by student editors, continues to evolve each year and offers hour-long workshops in student media policies, law, ethics, basic reporting skills, and note-taking as well



Jaguar Student Media Covers University Transitions

Written By: Manuel Figueroa

If you visit our growing campus in the fall, you’ll notice some big changes. We’ll welcome new faculty and students, and new academic buildings and a residence hall are on the way, too. Starting in the 2016-2017 academic school year, the university will welcome the inaugural class of freshman and sophomore students, including a large applicant pool from outside of San Antonio. The university will offer lower-division courses for the first time since the university was established as a stand-alone university in 2009. During this time of major growth and transition, our student reporters, photographers and videographers have reported on these major developments for our digital news site, Our goal has been to show how new growth will impact our student readership and newly admitted students. Here are some notable updates and what we plan to continue covering next academic year: •

President Cynthia Teniente-Matson informed us A&M-San Antonio is in the process of developing a strategic plan that will guide the growth and development of A&M-San Antonio. Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) presented drafts to the campus community including revised values, vision, mission and strategic priorities for the campus.

Administration formed a master plan committee to plan for the tuition revenue bond-funded science and technology building, which we reported will break ground by June 2017 with a timeline to open for spring 2019 classes. The committee, under the leadership of Provost Steven Olswang and Vice President Darrell Morrison, will continue to focus on solutions to house all students, faculty and staff at the main campus in 2017, according to University Communications.

This spring, The Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents granted Texas A&M-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson authority to negotiate and execute a ground lease for the construction of privatized student housing on the University’s campus. The result? The creation of the university’s first residence hall. Once built, new residence hall rooms will first be offered to incoming freshmen and any remaining vacancies will then be filled based on student need.

We also reported on state-wide education issues impacting the university, including the state’s strategic education plan for Texas, or 60x30TX. As part of their reporting, our student journalists met with Raymund A. Paredes, the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education and CEO of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, to learn how the state will encourage 60 percent of Generation Texas to have a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030.


Our student news teams will continue to report on these developments and more. To prepare to offer more detailed and expanded coverage, the Communication Program will welcome two new members to our faculty; lecturer Megan Pope and tenure-track faculty member Barbara Audet. Additional faculty staff will help support our four-year students, maintain the low student-faculty ratio and offer additional course options for every student in the program. As always, we encourage faculty, staff, students and community members to come visit Jaguar Student Media (Central Academic Building, 320) to continue the great conversations we’ve started. You’re an important part of the conversation.



A Mother’s Journey

Written By: Felicia Palomo

According to the Candie’s Foundation, fewer than 2 percent of teen mothers earn a college degree by age 30. There is no denying that the odds are against young mothers, especially when they need to work and support another life, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t get an education while working and raising a child. When I found out I was pregnant at 19, I was in my second year of college and working full time as an assistant manager at Sea Island Shrimp House. I discovered that despite your past, despite anything you have done previously, everyone around you will try to set you up to fail. Here are some of the things I was told: “You’re never going to finish school.” “You’re just another dumb girl.” Or, one of my least favorites: “I’m so disappointed in you.” Instead of the traditional, “congrats,” or “you’ll be a great mother,” I got everything else. The one comment I will never forget is from my college advisor from one of San Antonio’s community college campuses, where I was supposed to be receiving advice on how to get my degree. “Are you serious?,” he questioned. “You can go ahead and drop out now. You think you’ll be able to get your degree now, but I promise you won’t.” I expected to hear it from my family, but I was in awe from hearing this from my college advisor. What I want to tell you though is that the negative comment never fazed me. It became more motivation for me to prove everyone wrong.


Felicia Palomo shares her struggles and triumps of being a student and mom. She is motivated to prove to her young son, Ayden, that anything is possible.

I never stopped going to school. Each semester I continued to work full time, while taking a full load of classes. I remember walking to class when I was nine months pregnant getting ugly stares and rude comments from fellow students. Here’s one I remember: “Why is she even coming anymore? It’s not like she’s going to finish.” My son, Ayden, was born on June 8, 2012. The moment that I held him, my life changed forever. This tiny little life that I created deserved the very best of my time. I knew at that moment that this child deserved the world, and I would do absolutely anything to give him that. I knew that finishing my education would be the first step to give him the best life possible. It became my mission to get my degree, not to prove anybody wrong, but to give Ayden everything he deserves. I worked full time and continued to go to school full time while living in an apartment with Ayden & my fiancé, David. With expenses for Ayden, school and bills, money was getting tight. I changed jobs and started working with Nationwide Insurance to make more money. Because of my work schedule, I had to take fewer classes, sometimes between one and three classes a semester, but I never stopped going to school. But there were scheduling difficulties. Nationwide was only hiring from 12pm-10pm. I hated it. I cried everyday when I dropped my son off at daycare. It hurt me so bad that I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be. I couldn’t go home and cook dinner for my family. I had to do this for Ayden. Then, in December 2013, I graduated from Northwest Vista College with an Associate of Arts in New Media

“This was the hardest journey of my life. I do it all for Ayden, and I’d do it again to give him everything he deserves.” with Nationwide Insurance, I took eight classes, equalling 24 credit hours. It was so hard. I didn’t have any days off. Five days a week I worked at 7:30 a.m., and the other two days I had school all day starting at 8am. Between classes, I would drive to Ayden’s daycare, pick him up, have a “mini- dinner” with him, then drop him off with my grandma and come back to school. I drove about 400-500 miles weekly commuting back and forth to and from school, but it was worth it. Even if I only saw Ayden for 45 minutes, I would make the drive simply because extra time with him meant the world to me. I was at school all day on Thursdays, but I was lucky enough to have my mother picking up Ayden for me from daycare and watching him while I was in class until 9 p.m. This was probably the hardest semester of my life. I didn’t care how much homework I had, I knew I could get it done. The hardest thing for me was being away from Ayden to get it all done. That killed me. I made a promise to myself not to do any homework in front of Ayden, because any time I had away from work and school was all his. But guess what? Ayden & I did it. I finished the semester with six A’s and two Bs. Twenty-four credit hours down, and 18 hours left before graduation, all while working and raising my son. Here I am today. I took 15 hours Spring 2016, while working 20 hours a week and working a 15-hour internship, all while being a T-ball mom! I graduate in June 2016, and I did it all for Ayden. There were plenty of times -no a million times- I wanted to quit and just be home with Ayden all day and night. Then I looked at the bigger picture. I knew that all the suffering I went through would pay off, and it has. There’s no one else in the world I would do it for but him. This was the hardest journey of my life. Working, going to school, and trying to be the very best mom I can be was all I cared about. The last four years of my life have helped me grow as a person and a mom. I do it all for Ayden, and I’d do it all again to give him everything he deserves.


Communications and walked the stage in May 2014. Ayden was a year and a half old and I was just so happy. Everyone was against me. I had to work a full year in the worst work schedule, and was away from my child for most of the day, but I did it, all for Ayden. The next year was extremely challenging. My fiance learned from his employer that he would be laid off at this time, so he found a job three hours away in Houston. He wanted me to go, but he also knew I needed to finish school. He moved to Houston and visits every other weekend. We’re still together, but I guess you could say I became a single mom when he left in October, 2014. To save money, I decided to move back in with my parents after David left to Houston. I have been blessed with an amazing support system. If there was ever a moment I needed my parents or my grandparents to watch Ayden, they were always there to help. I transferred to Texas A&M University-San Antonio in May 2015, proud and happy that I finished so many classes so quickly all while working full time, taking a full time load of classes and raising Ayden. I thought I only had a few classes left to graduate with my bachelor’s degree, but then I hit another road block. Courses I had taken at the community college wouldn’t transfer and I found myself having to take courses I thought I had already completed for course credit. The entire year was gone. I found myself crying a lot that year. There were many late nights doing homework while holding Ayden in my arms. I was devastated. It felt like one thing after another. I felt like quitting, but couldn’t quit, because of Ayden. June 2015. I made Ayden a promise on his third birthday. I promised him by the time he turned four his mom would have a Bachelor’s degree. I needed 51 hours to graduate, and planned to do it within the next year because I need my family together. Summer 2015: I took my first set of classes at A&M-SA, enrolling in 12 hours all while working full time at Nationwide. Fall 2015: I did the unthinkable. While working 30 hours



Leaders of Tomorrow Josh Valdez From afar, Josh Valdez

seems like any other Communications major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He studies hard, networks with other students and participates in extracurricular activities. However, with an Emmy already to his name, his accolades speak for themselves. Valdez recorded his first project, a family film, with his dad’s Handycam. In middle school, his father purchased better equipment allowing Valdez to make more professional films. He attended the Film School of San Antonio at Harlandale High School, attributing much of his success to his teacher, George Ozuna. “I wouldn’t be where I am without him,” Josh says. In high school, he learned the skills needed to create the Emmy-winning “Beijing Olympia,” produced alongside his brother, Nephtali. The film details the darker side of the 2008 Summer Olympics, telling the story of how the government evicted millions of people from their homes and destroyed animal habitats to build the Olympic stadium. “This was all against their own free will,” Josh says. “Being in a Communist country, you really don’t have a say. If you go against the government, you will be arrested.” Through animation, Josh, his brother, and two friends tell a compelling story about a panda that parallels the tragic events. In 2014, Josh won Best in Show at the Microsoft Game Developers Conference hosted in Dallas. Matched up against veterans with multiple apps to their name, Josh proved he could compete with professionals in another creative arena. This led to a contract with Microsoft where Josh served as a game developer, and he began creating the early stages of warlike game apps. Today, Valdez still puts his filmmaking skills to use but in other ways. His time at A&M-San Antonio opened the door for him to become a news intern at KWEX/41 Univision, where he researches stories, finds sources, and occasionally runs camera for live broadcasts. The station hires five communication students annually through an education collaborative agreement and internship program between the station and A&M-San Antonio. He’s also one of the main editors and videographers for a new upcoming web show OyeSA. Ultimately, Josh has a passion for ministry. Born and raised in the church, Josh always finds himself going back to his Christian roots. He hopes to graduate from seminary school with a master’s in theology and says he will consider starting a faithbased film business. To Valdez, it’s not about the equipment you use, the sometimes hectic schedules or the awards. What’s most important to him is the joy of doing what you love, whether that’s filmmaking and animation, or following another creative pursuit.



Oscar Gonzalez Communication

senior Oscar Gonzalez got into writing through video games. Seeing poor writing through major gaming outlets, he decided to start writing stories. “When it comes to getting better at storytelling, it’s all about doing more and different writing,” Gonzales said. “Don’t just do news pieces, try an editorial or a review to test out your other writing muscles,” he said. Gonzalez will graduate May 2016 with the knowledge that he earned the highest number of academic scholarships for any Communications student at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. During his junior and senior year at A&M-San Antonio, Gonzalez received scholarships from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the San Antonio Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists (SAAHJ). Along with being the longest reigning editor of The Mesquite; the student-led campus newspaper, he launched Jagcast a university podcast that interviews campus and community newsmakers. In the fall, Gonzalez will be working towards a master’s in journalism at City University of New York (CUNY). “Leaving San Antonio is a little worrisome,” Gonzalez said.” I’ve been here 36 out of my 37 years, so this is a new experience for me.” he said. Gonzalez plans to pursue a career in digital journalism, game blogging, coding, and podcasting. He chose New York for a reason. “ It’s the media center of the world, and sometimes you have to go where the action is happening,” he said.

Angie Saenz, a non-traditional student

attending Texas A&M University-San Antonio, began her journey at Palo Alto College in 1992. She had already established a career as a community investment manager, but earning a bachelor’s degree in Communication was a personal goal she sought to fulfill. Saenz’s is an outstanding example that proves that success is possible at any age. “Don’t ever stop pursuing your dream,” said Saenz, mother of four children, ages 21, 20, 18 and 1. As a non-traditional student with countless amounts of determination, classmates say she diversifies the classroom by sharing her wisdom and talent and sharing her numerous responsibilities at work, including facilitating the company’s volunteer activities and large philanthropic efforts. Saenz currently leads the volunteer efforts of over 20,000 employees at Zachry Group and says she plans to advance her current role with the skills developed at Texas A&M UniversitySan Antonio.


Cindy Castellanos Communication student Cindy Castellanos carries a full to-do

list day in and day out. When not working as an employee and client communications specialist for Citibank, she supports fundraising for United Way, March of Dimes and other nonprofit organizations. When asked how she believes her degree will help her with her career, Castellanos said, “I’d like to get my bachelor’s degree to focus on public relations and broaden my skills.” “I’d love to handle community outreach for local companies like, H-E-B, Valero, and the Spurs,” she added.

Paul Fernandez Communications

major Paul Fernandez has always been a creative soul. I first met him 10 years ago in a news writing class at San Antonio College. Just one class short of graduating, Fernandez had to take a break from school. Life got in the way, as it tends to do, and after attempting to finish his degree several times Fernandez had to put school on the back burner. In the summer of 2015, after almost six years since he’d attended any type of class, Fernandez decided to make his education a priority. “I knew I would never be happy in my current career path, and I knew how important finishing my education would be in successfully following my dreams,” Fernandez said. Fernandez, a claim service representative at an auto insurance company, started working overnight in a call center to have the flexibility needed to attend school as a full time college student during the day. He graduated from San Antonio College in Dec. 2015, having earned an Associate’s degree in Broadcasting Technology and an Associate’s degree in Photography. Texas A&M University - San Antonio was the perfect place for a non-traditional student such as himself to pursue his Bachelor’s. Spring 2016 was his first semester at A&M - San Antonio, and due to his full course load, he is on track to graduate in Dec. 2016. Although he has an interest in photojournalism, Fernandez plans to utilize his natural artistic talents by working towards a career as a special effects makeup artist. He recently purchased a new stove to create prosthetics and is working on refining his skills. His enthusiasm towards returning to school is evident, citing that having a plan and working to accomplish his goals has made him more content. When asked what he would tell someone who feels unsure about going back to school, Fernandez gave a rueful smile. “Never stray from the path of dreams to a trail of regretful nightmares,” he said, “but if you do, you can always find your way back. I did.”

Dee Dixon Communication

senior Dee Dixon has a history of choosing careers that help her community thrive. Before coming to Texas A&M University-San Antonio, she worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise. When Hurricane Ike hit Beaumont Sept. 12, 2008, Dixon was writing stories in the parking garage of the darkened Beaumont Enterprise building which had lost power. Reporters siphoned electricity from cars to power lights and computers. The newspaper was one of the few sources that citizens could turn to for information. The team did what was needed to do to make it work, Dixon said. “You have to use every tool in your toolbox,” she said.” The time to sharpen your tools is before the hurricane comes, you can’t let little things stop you. Dixon currently works at San Antonio College as a student success specialist. She provides students with resources and helps them transfer to different universities. She’s also part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program where the U.S. Department of Education provided a $5 million grant for five years to help and encourage students in college. After graduation, Dixon wants to pursue a law degree. She encourages students to go after their dreams and to develop marketable skills to fill their toolboxes.



The Future is Bright! Written By: Destiny Castañeda

Rossi Ramirez

Rossi Ramirez, (‘14) advises current students to get involved and volunteer. The more experience, the better, she offers. “The more hands-on experience you have on your resume, the more likely you have a chance to land a job,” she says. Ramirez graduated from Texas A&M University-San Antonio in the spring of 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. “My communication background has allowed me to have a voice in the community,” Ramirez said. Following graduation, she became the producer of the Blondie and Nugget morning show on 94.1 KTFM for two years. She gives credit to A&M-San Antonio for landing a position at a top 40 radio station in San Antonio, Texas. “From my first semester to my last, there was always constant communication between my

As a lead reporter Newscenter 25, Jimenez covers breaking news events, high profile court cases and severe weather storms. Jimenez has been with Newscenter 25 since December of 2014, a week after graduating from Texas A&M San Antonio. His main goal is to come back to San Antonio as a reporter. Jimenez credits A&M-San Antonio for the internships and scholarship opportunities. In 2011, Google awarded Jimenez a scholarship to attend the Online News Association conference in Boston, where he was able to visit the Boston Globe and network with other students and professionals. He also interned at FOX San Antonio and Univision 41. “Our dedicated professors worked hard to build relationships with outside agencies like Univision and I was able to benefit from that by getting a news internship,” he says. Of all the factors that helped him land a job, Jimenez says that the internships and scholarships helped him achieve his dream of being a television news reporter.



Written By: Karenna Reyna

professors and I making sure I was getting that hands on experience I needed to succeed in my career,” Ramirez says. Ramirez describes the student newsroom as a family. “It was always a ‘we’ when it came to teamwork!” Ramirez has been an associate producer for SA Live, KSAT-12’s Lifestyle show since August 2015. It’s a dream come true for her to celebrate her hometown through SA Live. Her favorite part of the job is to create local content for the city. Producing content that highlights San Antonio’s diverse culture is something that makes her very proud. “Communications is such a competitive field and if it wasn’t for the university constantly informing me about internships and volunteer opportunities I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

“I think internships are very important, and show you’re ready for the job,” he says. “When I was a student, a very wise reporter told me, “Intern early, often and as much as possible,’ so I did.” Jimenez said his professors helped him get his foot in the door at the beginning of his career and has much gratitude towards not only the school’s communication program, but the professors as well. “My professors believed in me and were always pushing me to work harder and to keep persevering,” he says. He believes if it was not for their guidance and knowledge, he would not be where he is today. Although Jimenez attended A&M-San Antonio in its beginning stages as one if its first undergraduate students, he is very proud of what it has become. “I will work hard in my career to bring recognition to the degree that I have earned at Texas A&M San Antonio,” he says.

Michael Jimenez

Courtney Kaiser

It’s what every student wants -- a job following graduation. When Jonathan Salas graduated from Texas A&M UniversitySan Antonio in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, he walked from commencement to a job that was waiting for him. Immediately following graduation, Salas started working as the social media and communication specialist at the University of the Incarnate Word, a private university in San Antonio, where he led all of the online and internal communication efforts. “It was a fun position as social media is always evolving; it really allowed me to be creative,” he says. Salas is currently employed as the public relations coordinator for Robert Half, a professional staffing firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Salas believes his current position builds on the experience he received in the undergraduate program at A&M-San Antonio. Salas said he always enjoyed storytelling and wanted to obtain a career that helped others tell their stories. “The professors were very realistic about industry expectations and really equipped me with the tools that I continue to use today,” he says. Now a graduate student at Boston University pursuing an M.S. in Public Relations, he says he felt ready to take the leap from undergraduate life to graduate school. Reflecting back on his time as a student,


Courtney Kaiser graduated in Dec. 2015, with a Bachelor’s in Communication. This was the best fit for her because she loves to talk and interact with people. “I love getting a chance to think creatively and come up with new ideas.” said Kaiser. “Communications was the obvious choice.” Today, Kaiser is the Marketing+ Director for Dermatology Associates of San Antonio. She does a lot of public relations work like coordinating social media campaigns and finding cost effective media coverage. The Public Relations courses here at TAMU-SA gave her a chance to contribute ideas. She believes it was great practice for her to formulate her thoughts. Kaiser learned the importance of budgets, resources, and research. “I use the template from my course to create a marketing plan for the job I am working at now.” Something that Kaiser will always

remember is how helpful the professors were. She had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with each of them at one point. “They all had a different approach and different outlook, and were able to pull different things out of me.” Kaiser was taking 22 credit hours and working her last semester. The professors were very supportive and encouraging. “It made it all worth it and so much easier.” She always gives 110%, and looks for that in other people. Kaiser advises students to take advantage of all the little things like making new friends at school. Especially those who are going through the same struggles as you in order to have support and someone to motivate you. Also, talking about your career goals and aspirations with professors and others. “Some of my very favorite lessons happened on those couches in the lounge.”

Salas says her remembers and applies much of what he learned at A&M-San Antonio. His life-changing course, he says, was a public relations summer elective taught by Professor Dr. Lorraine Pulido. “She inspired me from minute one and taught me soo much,” Salas says. She was the person who led him to pursue a career on the public relations side of communications. He thanks the professors, especially professors who also dedicate time to offer career advising and professional guidance. From his current home in Boston, Salas says he believes that A&M-San Antonio prepares students for a bright future. If he could go back and do anything differently he says he would have connected with his professors early on. “I didn’t begin asking questions and going for guidance until my second semester and by the time I was done I felt I still had so much to ask them,” he says. “Thankfully they’ve all been accessible and I continue to keep in touch.” “I wouldn’t have my current job or be a graduate student at Boston University pursuing a master’s in public relations if it wasn’t for the foundation that my undergraduate experience cemented in me,” he says. Salas believes he will make it back to San Antonio one day soon. “It’s quite ironic; finishing my undergraduate degree was on my bucket list a few years ago. Now, returning is on my list.” he says. “I have so much to thank the institution and my professors for. I hope to do it in person soon.”

Jonathan Salas



Course: 101 Required Courses Written By: Yuriria Mota

Upper-division students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication at Texas A&M University-San Antonio are required to take a diverse set of skills-based courses that will encourage students to develop marketable skills and define their career interests. Here’s what you can expect, in the words of the instructors:

Reporting, COMM 3301

Professor: Jenny Moore Knowledge Gained: AP style, news writing, outlining, revision, multimedia storytelling, newsroom management, advertising, and the benefits of collaborative teamwork. What to expect: Structured as a collaborative class, you will develop multimedia reporting and writing skills. You will learn to seek sources, as well as write and develop your stories. You will also learn the importance of accuracy and ethical choice making. Professor’s advice: “Be open to something new.” This is a hands-on, student-centered class. This class will not only take you out of your comfort zone, it will help you become more comfortable speaking to new people, talking to sources and improving your AP writing skills as well as a better understanding of narrative structures. This class combines lecture and production lab, so if you have any issues you can seek help from the instructor and your classmates. Professor Moore says she recognizes not everyone begins at the same level, so don’t stress about being left behind; be open and ready to learn because you will learn the skills for the class and be able to apply them at work, regardless of your career choice. *Student’s advice: Prepare to work. Read news stories outside of class, and practice your writing. You’re gaining a lot, so be prepared to learn.

Mass Media, The Public and the Law, COMM 4317 Professor: Dr. Brian C. Brantley Knowledge Gained: Analytical skills will help you through major reading and writing. What to expect: Homework case studies will take a while to go through. Follow Dr. Brantley’s guidelines, don’t overthink it and write what you understand. Ask questions in class and you’ll be answered. Professor’s advice: “Go to class. Don’t be afraid of the subject matter. Ask questions.” This is one of the classes that, though long and tough, you 16


gain a lot from. The unfamiliar vocabulary can strike a challenge but Dr. Brantley always encourages his students to ask questions. Most likely, if you have a question, somebody else is struggling with the same problem. Dr. Brantley is the professor with an endless supply of information that applies to each chapter covered in class; from obscure movie trivia to current legal disputes. Take good notes; these are lecture classes and you don’t want to rely on someone else trying to explain a difficult subject. Arrive on time and and at least scan the chapter before class to get a full understanding of the day’s subject. *Student’s advice: Take good notes, prepare to read and bring coffee.

Public Relations, COMJ 4322

Professor: Dr. Lorena “Lorraine” Pulido Required knowledge: Writing, organization and group skills are a must. You will be learning how to make a PR plan for a real client. Past clients have included Texas A&M University-San Antonio President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Centro de Artes, The Doseum, and The Magik Theater. What to expect: Homework is straight to the point. Do your research and always turn it in. Classes are educational and hands-on. Do your work and it will be a breeze. Professor’s advice: “ Really refine your writing skills and your oral communication skills.” Dr. Pulido recommends reading at least one news outlet daily, so you can see how the news is written and produced. Reporters write newsworthy information, so when creating content for your company you have to keep this in mind. Write what a reporter will find newsworthy. Students should ask: “What is it that reporters are writing about? What do they find newsworthy?” This is an interactive class where everything you learn will be discussed and talked about. Expect the professors to talk about her experiences in the field and she, in turn, will you give other applicable examples. Expect to learn how to assemble a public relations plan, research methods and how to evaluate. These are three basic skill sets that will serve students in any industry. *Student’s advice: She gives you a lot of helpful information that will pertain to your job. Everything the instructor covers comes from hands-on and practical experience in the field.


Dedicated Instructor

JENNY MOORE Fosters Learning

Written By: Manuel Figueroa

and most affordable communication programs in San Antonio. “Right now, it’s a special time for our faculty as we grow. We know that the communication program will expand, but even with the hiring of future faculty, we hope to keep our classes relatively small,” Moore says. Plans are for two additional faculty members to join the Communications program for the fall 2016 semester to help expand course options for students. The program, under the direction of the College of Arts & Sciences, will expand its radio/television broadcast course track with partnerships with area television stations, including a semester-study program at Univision.


Since arriving at Texas A&M University-San Antonio in 2008, Professor Jenny Moore’s focus on helping students has remained unchanged. She continues teaching her students the importance of developing a strong work ethic, applying law and ethics learned in other courses to their journalism project and learning the discipline to make tight deadlines. She pushes her students to succeed through encouragement and in several other supportive ways. Her goal of helping every student realize his or her full potential, in or out of the classroom, has remained steady for the last eight years. After completing a graduate teaching fellowship and completing a Professional Master’s Degree, M.S., in the magazine program at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Moore relocated to San Antonio in 2001 develop a teaching career, hoping to train student journalists. In addition to teaching as a writer-in-residence in the San Antonio Independent School District, she worked in the advertising field and contributed as a freelance writer for several magazines and newspapers around the area. She also received a fellowship with the San Antonio Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, which helps the nation’s educators to improve writing and learning for all learners. “Originally, being around younger students, especially in San Antonio, taught me to be a better teacher prior to coming into higher education,” Moore says. “I wanted to help students who haven’t had a lot of training in written communication to tell stories that are important to them and their communities.” Moore currently serves as the director of student media at A&M-San Antonio and coordinator for the Communication program, making sure the future of the program continues to blossom as one of the highest quality



COURSE 101: PHOTOGRAPHY Written By: Joe Turner

Be prepared to put your camera skills to the test. As part of your required coursework in the Communication program, you’ll study photojournalism and learn to be a campus photographer for the university’s student-led news site, The Mesquite. In Photojournalism I (COMJ 3328), students can expect to attend events on campus as well as cover important events and issues on the South Side of San Antonio to capture the photos needed for The Mesquite. Your experience with The Mesquite will be priceless as you continue to

strive toward your dream of getting your bachelor’s degree from A&M UniversitySan Antonio. In the photojournalism course. you can expect hands-on experience with some of the latest DSLR’s, Adobe programs and photography equipment used in today’s field. The class draws from texts by Kenneth Kobre, including techniques and a professional approach in order to create high-impact photographs. You will team up with The Mesquite reporters (both beginning and advanced) as you craft knowledgeable stories loaded with facts, which you will

support with clear, sharp photos. The digital news outlet is advised on the narrative side by Professor Jenny Moore, and Professor Townsend, who leads the photographers. Townsend will guide you as you gain hands-on experience with the cameras, and walk you through modern programs like Photoshop to color correct your photos. Other programs you will use include Photo Mechanic which will help you organize your photos and make sure your metadata ensures you are noticed for your work. You can look forward to taking this class during your junior year.

CONTRIBUTORS Tammy Busby Adrian De Los Reyes Erick De Luna Catherine Duncan Lucia Espino Paul Fernandez Laura Garcia Oscar Gonzalez 18


Royce Homecare Joseph Lopez Lisa Morales Rossi Ramirez James Ratcliff Cynthia Rodriguez Crystal Valentin

Real World Insight into the World of Public Relations

As students, we spend years in a classroom evaluating our options for the future and playing process of elimination with different career paths. If we’re lucky, we may settle on a degree plan early on, but the jobs available within that degree plan can be a more intricate decision. When it comes time to making that important decision, real-world insight and experience can simplify the process and help determine the best option. I personally considered several career options in the field of communications before I settled on public relations in my junior year of college at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. I considered everything from television production to multimedia journalism, but a combination of paid, hands-on experience as a communications specialist for Citibank and classroom projects completed in Public Relations, COMJ 4322, gave me the necessary insights needed to make my decision. For students seeking real-world insights into the world of public relations, huge gains will be made by spending a semester with adjunct public relations professor Lorraine Pulido. The three-credit-hour course, offered in the evenings, is taught by a communications manager with more than 20 years in the business who has dedicated 16 years to higher education. Her expertise and method of teaching provides a balance of mentorship and community service. In addition to reading from a required text, students are partnered with a group of peers and challenged with presenting a marketing plan that will help elevate a mock client, which is typically a non-profit organization within the San Antonio community. Past clients

include The DoSeum, San Antonio Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum, Wellmed Charitable Foundation, Casa de Artes, and, more recently, the Magik Theatre. The dynamic is truly an overall win, as students experience the world of public relations firsthand, and agencies benefit from the action plans provided by students hoping to compete for an A. Pulido says she relies on her own education and professional background to design the structure of the class. “I try to think about the tactics that my professors used while I was in school that seem to resonate the most,” she says. “In addition to the textbook, I knew that I needed to supplement that with additional learning about the industry as it stands.” Students who have taken the course describe a fulfilling experience that will help them enter the workplace with marketable skills. “It was truly inspiring. I enjoyed the real life experience and have gained new confidence in my ability to speak in front of professionals,” says Cassandra Hernandez, an A&M-San Antonio Communication student. Courses like Public Relations, COMJ 4322, provide the ability to research the work of professionals and help you determine your future path. And there’s more to come. The Communication program intends on hiring a full-time tenure-track Public Relations professor to oversee the growth and direction of the program in 2018.

THANK YOU! so much for your generous contribution. - Spring 2016 Magazine Design class, COMM 4306




Written By: Cindy Castellanos

Top 10 Apps for Students Written By: Joe Turner

These Top 10 apps for students may be able to help you. We may not have all the answers, but we think these top 10 apps will help you get going in the right direction. Oh, did I mention they are free?


With over 10 million installs when you’re on the go, you want to make sure you’re spelling right and using the right words. In this day and age with email and Twitter, you had better spell check. Can someone say professional? This app is a little larger, but hey, we all want to spell correctly. Make room for it.


This app is a steal. Installed over 1 million times, students are managing to stay organized with this app. It allows students to store their classes, homework, and exams in the cloud, making your homework available on any device. The app comes in with a size of 21M. Bigger is better, right? No brainer.


With all this organizing, you may ask, where can I save all my documents? Google Drive is the answer. Finish all your work and keep it in Google Drive for future edits, or open up your document and show the class what you’re working on. Google Drive, in my opinion, is brilliant. With over 1 billion downloads you will wonder where Google Drive has been all your life.


Sometimes file are just too large. Take those photos and videos, for instance. Dropbox to the rescue! Here’s the answer to all your large file problems. This app will come in handy in your video class and photojournalism classes, keeping your production rolling. Don’t forget to invite your friends and Dropbox will reward you with an extra free storage increase #winning.


Hey, we can’t leave the nerds out, right? This app has the math nerds geeking out. Just read the reviews. You don’t want to go to math class without this app. With over 20 million installs and over 100 thousand 5 star reviews, the nerds are solving problems. Shhhh, don’t bother them. 20 ROAM


Down to the top 5 apps -- these better be good. We can’t leave out our students travelling abroad. If you are traveling to another country next semester, don’t forget this app. It will have you stepping off the plane speaking a foreign language like a pro. Have real-time conversations in Chinese (traditional and simplified), English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Installed over 500 thousand times, don’t leave home without it. ¡Ándele!


Ever thought what life would be like without paper and a pen? Look for the elephant. Pull out Evernote anywhere. Available on all platforms, you can use this app on your mobile device, your tablet and your desktop. This is the app you want when you’re taking notes in class, making a grocery list or just jotting down a couple emails on the go at your local social mixer event. With email capabilities and audio recording built in, take your organizational skills to a whole new level. You can thank me later.


What’s student life without the fun? With Instagram network with friends, share photos and follow your favorite people with similar hobbies. Installed more than 500 million times, Instagram is a no brainer. Besides, you have to build your brand, right? Plus, you can sharpen your photography skills. Having a good social presence is in high demand these day. I have a feeling you’ll being using this app long after you finish college career.


We all want our information fast, and Twitter provides it. Get your news from all the media platforms in seconds, communicate with celebrities and share the information important to you. The new standard of news is in the palm of your hand. Stay in the know and download Twitter. You’ll be surprised how much it comes in handy staying up to date on current events. With over 500 million installs, breaking news has never been served so fast.


An app with so much to offer students, Facebook is easily the number one app for student life. Facebook has the capabilities to build your brand all while keeping in touch with current and past classmates. Create group messages, organize student events and share documents through messenger. Facebook provides one app for all experiences, all while keeping your family and friends within one text away. The high demand for social media presence makes Facebook a requirement for students. With over 1 billion installs, Facebook is a sure shot number one app for students.


Job Search Ready

Social Media

Written By: Cassandra Hernandez

Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. These are just a few of the most popular social media sites that most students use. In this day in age, it isn’t even necessary to get a cell phone number or email because your information is on one of your social media sites. You can be found and contacted by just entering your name into a search engine, no matter how private you keep your social media sites. Sure, social media has numerous perks. You can find any of your friends, keep up with long distance friends and family and not miss a beat of their lives, or yours. When you apply for a new job, 35 percent of employers are less likely to interview candidates if they cannot find you on online, according to a survey done by Career Builder. “Researching candidates via social media and other online sources has transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of online recruitment,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer on CareerBuilder’s website. “In a competitive job market, recruiters are looking for all the information they can find that might help them make decisions. Rather than go off the grid, job seekers should make their professional persona visible online, and ensure any information that could dissuade prospective employers is made private or removed.”

2. Get rid of your youth content. We all have a past of being young, wild and free. There is nothing to be ashamed of, however that was so 2012. Clean up your party pictures. The fact is that those party pictures are plain unprofessional and no prospective employer would think otherwise. 3. Watch that potty mouth. Bad mouthing a past employer on social media is one of the worst things you can do. Even if you delete the post once it’s on the internet it’s on there forever. Prospective employers don’t want to see negative posts about another company because you could be talking about them in the same manner one day. You will never know how many companies work together, merge, or are owned by the same person. If you bad mouth one of their co- companies, essentially you’re talking about them. Keep the trash talk off your social media accounts.

If your social media sites are not work friendly then you might think about cleaning them up or making a new page. Here are a few tips to keeping or making your pages work friendly. 1. Brand yourself. Focus on what your specialty is, and make it work for you. At the end of the day, recruiters can find many people with the necessary skills, but they are looking for that one person who stands out. Find your special skill and make that your “Personal Brand.”



Social Media : LinkedIn

Written By: Valeria Gallegos

Social Media can be a very powerful tool in today's world. If used correctly, it can help you step closer to your dream job, or establish powerful networking connections for your future Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have become more popular with people, of all ages, all over the world. Technology has advanced so much over the years that all these social media outlets can easily be downloaded onto your smartphone and tablets in a matter of seconds. There is one particular social media outlet easily overlooked by students. LinkedIn is a business oriented social media networking site and efficient way for students to start building their professional networks. On the site you can find many employers, employees and their work histories. It’s pretty much your resume in a social media format alongside your picture. It’s similar to Facebook in that you can accept people you know but differs in that the emphasis is on professional networking. This site also has a job search with filters making it easy for students to pick and choose what kind of job they are looking for, the location and the type of job. LinkedIn can be a backdoor to the job you want when you graduate college. Most of the time when people apply for jobs, the application goes straight to human resources. If you are not a qualified candidate, you can automatically be rejected by the human resources department. This website can help connect directly to the source. Look up the company, find the person who is in charge of hiring, such as a manager in your field or even the VP of the job in your city. Send them a professional message and pitch your skills. At the same time, make it personable. 22 ROAM

In today’s age, you can be confident employers look up your social media account if you apply for a job. They want to see what kind of person you are, who they are potentially interviewing, and if they match their qualifications. As students, we have to take full advantage of the technological opportunities available. A dramatic increase in the use of technology to enhance our everyday academic life and our future means it’s crucial that we use all of these tools properly. In order to use LinkedIn as effectively as we can, we must remain true to ourselves. Building your resume is maybe the most important thing you can do when you are trying to achieve your dream job. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to post resume on your page. Remember, don’t inflate your resume. Always tell the truth. Although your resume should be your chance to “show off ” your skills to future employers, make sure you are posting accurate information. Another helpful resource is right around the corner from you. The university’s Career Services office, located in Central Academic Building, Suite 211, Room 211G, offers a wide variety of services to help you with your academic success during college and after. “LinkedIn is really user friendly, so a tip would be not to be intimidated by it,” said Career Advisor Heather Schuster. “All you have to do is, create a username and password, and it takes you step by step” Schuster reminds students it’s important to remember the university is always here to help in any way they can whether it be offering advice, or helping a student build a resume.


What You Eat, Drink and Do

Written By: Lily Teran

Balancing the calories you eat and drink with the calories you burn is key to finding the right mix that keeps you feeling like a hundred bucks. A good diet and exercise is important for communication students as it improves brain functions, energy levels, muscle strength, helps you lose weight and look physically better which will boost your selfesteem. Possessing these traits will make any student feel more comfortable and confident while speaking or working in the communications field. In our discipline, students have constant deadlines, which can mean elevated stress. But it doesn’t have to. There are many tips, tools and resources to help you keep calories in check, get moving and make smart choices when it comes to your mental health, and that “bod” of yours. With our busy schedules involving work, school, and a social life, sometimes students want to simply relax. Not every day is necessarily an active one, so make sure to keep lighter food options in mind that day. Find the right balance that works for you, even on days that you don’t leave the bed. For example, try taking a walk to run an errand, remember to stretch in the morning and make sure to stick to lighter, healthier foods and drink only water that day. Another idea: You can personalize a nutrition plan and track foods, drinks and physical activities in order to go in the right direction. Having a visual plan always seems to keep things simpler. Knowing what to eat is a major key to a good nutrition plan. This is usually the hardest commitment for people, partly because most pre-made healthy food is expensive and most students would rather do a quick drivethru run than cook.

Instead of fried foods, try eating foods such as white chicken, white or brown rice, salads, fruits, and veggies. Or, try cooking a whole chicken breast that will last you for 2-3 meals with sides of rice and steamed veggies. You can quickly cook a meal like this and store away extras for lunch or dinner. Plus, the chicken is one of the most affordable types of meat along with rice and certain veggies. Don’t be scared of frozen vegetables! For those who are ready to start working out but don’t know where to begin, try this: Pick your favorite song and do a quick workout that consists of push-ups, sitting twists, lunges, leg scissors, high knee kicks, jump squats, mountain climbers, and bicycle crunches! This workout, plus your favorite song, should get your blood pumping and leave you feeling fabulous. Keeping in mind most students have crazy busy schedules, another worthy workout suggestion includes trying a fiveminute workout in the morning that consists of a one-minute plank, 15 jumping jacks, 15 squats, and 15 sit-ups. This five-minute workout requires no equipment and can get your body on the right track for the day. Remember, most people who look good feel good, so don’t wait to change your life before it’s too late. Balance your mix of foods, drinks and physical activities to stay fit and healthy. Exercise is key to balancing what you eat and drink, which also benefits your mental health. It makes you feel good, relieves stress, sharpens your memory, boosts circulation and improves creativity. Even with a busy schedule, it’s possible to get a quick workout and cook a fast, inexpensive, healthy meal. Change for the better today, the healthier you will thank you one day. ROAM


Fashion 101:

e d i u G n o i h s a F t n e d u t The S What to Wear for a Professional Don't Know s right here! Interview? We have your answer

Written by:

Valeria Gallegos

Bronwyn Harrison

Felicia Palomo

College graduation marks a milestone and opens up many opportunities for students. However, one of the biggest problems students may encounter after graduating college is insecurity over how to dress in a professional interview. That’s why we’re here to offer you a fashion guide on what to wear, and what not to wear, to land the job you want.

The Do's Men

The Don’ts Men:

Do look presentable and take time to look well groomed. Stay clear of long beards. If you have long hair, make sure it is brushed and groomed.

Do not wear any hats of any kind or have an outrageous hairstyle such as an elaborate mohawk, hair designs or outrageous colors.

Wear a professional dress shirt that isn’t too bright or overly patterned. A neutral fitted shirt and color will work just fine with some slacks that are neither too baggy or too tight. Wear a light spray of cologne if necessary.

Do not wear anything baggy, or with holes. Do not come to the interview with colored nails or long untamed nails.

Women: Do wear a nice fitting blouse or dressy shirt. Wear nice slacks that fit well or a nice knee length shirt neutral in color. Style clean hair in a presentable fashion. Keep it simple. Wear hair straight down, or brushed in a ponytail.



Do not wear anything too low-cut or too short if you are wearing a skirt. Refrain from outrageous hair colors like purple or blue. No crazy nails (halloween nails can wait). No crazy makeup like purple eyeshadow and blue lipstick. Stick to neutral makeup colors and neutral hair color.

Males: This is a good example of business casual, The male is well-groomed and clean cut.

Females: This is a good example of business casual, She looks clean-cut and professional.

Where to Shop Business Casual? With graduation around the corner for you and your classmates in the Communication program, you might be asking where to shop to look the part for job interviews and internships. We know it’s not easy. You’re paying for your classes, books and supplies, and you’re probably wondering, “Where can I shop for cheap?” Below is a short list of department stores that offer a wide variety of business casual clothes at a lower price.

• Ross • Marshalls • Target • Kohls • Macy’s • Forever 21

DID YOU KNOW? First Impressions are 93 % nonverbal. 55% appearance & body language 38% tone, pitch & pace of your voice 7% of what you say

These necessary and crucial tips are important to keep in mind. Employers sometimes do hire based on your looks, and first impressions matter. During an interview, our nerves get the best of us and it’s hard to be our true selves, but if you look nice and presentable, you won’t be overlooked. Remember to dress for the job you are applying for. Not every career job has the same fashion attire. Most corporate jobs require you to dress business casual. Always make sure you do your homework before you dress.These useful tips will help you land the dream job, but what’s next? Keep that professional image up at all times. Studies have shown that dressing nicely for the job can help you perform at a higher level. This makes you perform at a higher level, and the saying’s 100 percent true: “When you look good, you feel good.” When you are confident, it shows in the way you talk to people and the way you perform. It’s that extra bit of energy that can help you close a deal at your career job. ROAM


Why I Started


and how you can, too

Written By: Browyn Harrison

We all have busy schedules. What inevitably happens when we’re crunched for time? We may leave the house with disheveled hair or mismatched socks, or put off writing our term papers until the last possible hour. Sometimes, however, we put ourselves in danger by cutting corners. Under stress, I found myself skipping meals because I didn’t have time to pack a lunch or because I was too tired to cook after getting home from a 15-hour day of school and work. Worse, I started eating out almost daily. This isn’t just expensive; it’s torturous for your body to have to try to absorb nutrients from the (albeit delicious) garbage drivethru establishments offer. I started to feel awful: My skin was constantly greasy, I didn’t have enough energy to go to the gym, and my stomach would grumble so loudly it would distract people sitting around me in class. Then one day I fainted at work, in the kitchen of a busy restaurant. I’m not talking about a dainty princess-type faint, either. After that, I knew that I had to make a lifestyle change. I recommend starting with research. I knew I couldn’t be the only person with a tight schedule and budget trying to eat better. The amount of information one can find on meal planning is almost overwhelming, but I sifted through and figured out what works best for me.

roove and g r u o y d n “once you fi utine you will ro establish a curb” e h t o t n o i trit kick malnu Next, establish a routine. What works for me is waking up early on Sundays and writing out my game plan for the week. I’m a visual person, so I have a whiteboard I write my schedule on—what times I’m at school, what times I go to work, social activities I’m committed to, what my roommates have going on that week, anything and everything that could influence my down time. Then I grab my recipe box and choose between three and five recipes for dinner, depending on my availability. I generally plan to have leftovers for dinner at least once a week. I also plan to go out to dinner once a week, but no drive-thru! Making a grocery list and sticking to it is the next hurdle. My goal is to only have to go to the grocery store once a week. I start by writing down everything I need for each recipe, then crossing out the things I already have to make sure I don’t end 26 ROAM

up with hamburgers with no buns, or extra produce that ends up brown and sad in the back of the fridge. Then I make a list of things for breakfast, lunch and snacks, using what’s already in the fridge. For example, if I have half a package of bacon leftover from pasta carbonara, I’ll plan to make bacon, egg and cheese breakfast tacos for the week. The key is not over-buying food. If you have specific meal options, that moment of standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open staring at tons of food but nothing to eat is less likely to happen. After surviving the trip to the grocery store, I go back to my list. I chop and portion all of my veggies and fruits for snacks and salads. I focus on items which can be cooked before, and frozen or refrigerated. One of my favorite lunch plans is to make a big pot of soup in my crockpot. It cooks while I’m doing all of the other prep work for the week, and I can portion and freeze it. I also cook a few chicken breasts and slice them for lunch salads as well as any dinners. The biggest deal for me is making individual, portable breakfasts that I can either eat cold or heat in the microwave (bonus points if it’s something that can be eaten with one hand while driving). Meal planning is an exhausting chore. It’s hard to start cooking for the first time. You’ll find a way to burn something on the outside while it’s frozen or raw on the inside— my first casualty was chicken. For the first few weeks you will be stressed and over-zealous on your prep days, but once you find your groove and establish a routine, you will kick malnutrition to the curb. We all strive to find stability in our lives, and eating healthily helps balance the scales. Good luck on your culinary journey to a more healthful lifestyle.

Written By: Angie Saenz

You have invested thousands of hours, spent countless late nights cramming, eaten vending machine food to stay fueled throughout the day, lugged around your backpack and had a balance of bad, good and awesome professors. Finally, it’s your turn to graduate. The classrooms of Texas A&M University-San Antonio will soon be a thing of the past. It’s time to prepare for your next adventure – employment. Many students struggle with the transition from student to professional because they are two very different worlds.

Find a Mentor

Dress for Success

1. Ask questions about anything and everything;

1. Invest in five to 10 interchangeable business wardrobe items;

2. Seek advice on how you can succeed;

2 .Dress to impress – iron your clothes, don’t dress casual;

3. Develop a meaningful relationship and meet often.

3. Avoid the Too’s – too much makeup, too short, too tight, too low.

Be Collaborative

Time Management

1. Embrace the ideas of others; 2. Don’t be shy - contribute by sharing your knowledge; 3. Have you ever heard the saying, “three minds are better than one”?

Prioritize Your Goals 1. Acknowledge your goals by documenting them, perhaps in a journal;

1. Minimize your social media activity during the workday; 2. Disconnect when needed – mute your phone, email notifications and other devices so that you can focus on the task at hand; 3. Multitasking is not necessary a good thing - complete one project before starting another project or task.

2. Develop a five-year plan; 3. Revisit and re-evaluate your goals annually.



Written by: Priscilla Degollado

Searching for a student organization to join as a Communication major? Looking for scholarships aimed toward your area of study as you pursue your bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M University–San Antonio? We have both. As communication majors, we’re always looking for ways to help our classmates make the road to graduation and entry into the real world an easier one. It’s hard enough being a full-time student, but as a college student striving for a brighter future, we know you’re always looking for ways to ease the financial struggle as well as perfect your resume for employers. Here on our campus, communication students support one another by helping each other find and apply for academic scholarships. We also encourage one another to participate in professional organizations that will benefit our future careers. Here are three professional organizations that provide student scholarships. The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ): For more than 100 years SPJ has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press. In addition to regional and national contests, the San Antonio chapter provides an annual spring scholarship opportunity. The SPJ San Antonio Chapter awarded four Texas A&M University-San Antonio Communication students with academic scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 in 2016. Recipients include Gabriela Rodriguez, Ami Sarabia, Victoria Uribe and graduating senior Oscar Gonzalez, who will apply his scholarship to City University of New York where he will attend graduate school this fall. SPJ Scholarship: The SPJ San Antonio chapter provides several scholarships each year to outstanding student journalists. Applicants must attend a South Texas 28 ROAM

college or university or have a permanent residence in the region. The area includes San Antonio, Seguin, New Braunfels and San Marcos. Applicants must be a mass communications/journalism major or else have a demonstrated interest in journalism through work samples. Applicants must enroll in college full-time (12-hour course load or more per semester) during the academic year. The immediate families of SPJ San Antonio members are not eligible for consideration. A&M-San Antonio Recipients 2015: Oscar Gonzalez & Brian Harrin 2013: Tawseef Syed Ali The San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists (SAAHJ): The goal of SAAHJ is to help newsrooms better reflect the diverse population of Texas. The organization is composed of local journalists, public relations professionals, students, and others interested in the communications industry. The organization’s goals are to give away scholarships to students to help foster diversity in media and storytelling, provide networking opportunities for Latinos in journalism and communications careers, develop Latino leaders in journalism, and be an advocate for coverage of minority populations including that of Latinos. SAAHJ Scholarship: The annual scholarship application season begins in May with applications due in June. A&M-San Antonio Recipients 2015: Oscar Gonzalez, Brian Harrin & Christopher Vasquez 2014: Dee Dixon, Lorie Alejandra Hidalgo, Linda Alma Manzanares & Christopher Vasquez 2013: Lucia Espino, Linda Alma Manzanares 2011: Yesenia Camacho, Michael Jimenez & Melody Mendoza

The Association of Women in Communications San Antonio (AWC): Founded in 1909 as Theta Sigma Phi at the University of Washington, AWC has evolved from a student honorary women’s journalism fraternity to a strong national network of communicators in a broad range of disciplines. The founding principles of Theta Sigma Phi serve as touchstones for AWC today: To promote the advancement of women in all fields of communications, to work for First Amendment rights and responsibilities of communicators, to recognize distinguished professional achievements, and to promote high professional standards throughout the communications field. AWC San Antonio Professional Chapter, Ajay Castro Scholarship for Re-Entering Women Description: The AWC San Antonio Professional Chapter, Ajay Castro Scholarship for Re-Entering Women was established in 1989, in honor of longtime AWC member Ajay Castro. The scholarship is open to female undergraduate students currently enrolled in or accepted by a Bexar County higher education institution following a minimum three-year lapse since graduation from high school or attending college. Applicants must plan to pursue a degree in a communications-related field. A&M-San Antonio Recipients 2013: Stephanie Alonso & Alison Wadley 2012: Grace Garza Newton As the Communication program grows, students will have the opportunity to build and lead more student organizations, including a chapter of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA). “We have a lot of room to grow,” said Jenny Moore, director of student media. “We look forward to supporting new student organizations in the program as enrollment expands and we add new faculty advisors.”


Increase Learning

When professional journalists come together, they share ideas and innovations. When these experiences are shared with students, the collaboration can lead to great events and learning opportunities for both. On Saturday, March 5, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) student chapter of Texas A&M UniversitySan Antonio and the San Antonio Pro Chapter co-hosted an ethics program at Centro de Artes, the university’s downtown educational and cultural center. Both groups, required to hold educational programming to stay in good standing with the national chapter, pooled ideas and resources to hold an ethics event together during the presidential election season. The focus of the morning event was to hold a discussion to shed light on how journalists cover political races and the ethical circumstances that come into play during heated election contests. Speaking from different sides of the industry, political consultant Christian Archer, and San Antonio Express-News reporter John W. Gonzales and columnist Josh Brodesky, shared their perspectives on how to cover the election cycle, how to interview, and advice on staying unbiased as stories unfold. With professionals and students sharing the conversation, stories, questions and laughter unfolded for more than two hours. Destiny Montes, SPJ student chapter president, said the experience gave her student organization the opportunity to host an event and receive mentorship. “You see just how well and how fluently professionals do their jobs and so you kind of pick up on that,” Montes said. “You [students] are the future journalists of America,” said

Jackie Jordan, SPJ San Antonio pro chapter president. “Students need to understand they are recording history… so that future generations will know what happened today.” The pro and student chapters’ opportunity to collaborate together opens up the opportunity to “build stronger ties between journalists,” she said. Jordan said that during the primary elections it’s important to cover politics in an intelligent manner, adding that she looks forward to future collaborations with the student chapter. When coordinating an event with professionals, student leaders recommend starting out with face-to-face meetings and delegating responsibilities. Also, plan ahead. For example, the SPJ professional and student chapters planned together for several months. The professional members aided the student chapter throughout the planning process as well as met with them outside of classes. Students were given important roles, but also provided training, mentoring and guidance to hold a successful event. Communication students said they benefited from the event and collaborating on educational programming with professionals. “I got a better understanding about ethical situations from different reporters,” said Ami Garza, Communication junior and reporter for The Mesquite. “I plan on using some of that into my own work.”


Written by Yuriria Mota


Student and Professional Collaborations



Jaguar Student Media provides students opportunities to gain practical experience working with online, print and broadcast media products. The journalism laboratory is an extension of Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s institutional mission to prepare and empower students through innovative and challenging academic and co-curricular programs. Productions include The Mesquite, the campus’ award-winning online news site, JagCast and ROAM Magazine. Communication faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences advise student media by placing innovative and dedicated students in paid positions to launch and develop projects that contribute to the historically underserved communities surrounding their university campus in South San Antonio. Since launching Jaguar Student Media in 2012, students have received local, regional and national awards for their reporting and storytelling. Jaguar Student Media Communication Program Central Academic Building, Suite 320 College of Arts & Sciences Texas A&M University-San Antonio One University Way San Antonio, Texas 78224 210-784-1051


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ROAM Magazine - Spring 2016  
ROAM Magazine - Spring 2016  

The newest addition to Jaguar Student Media at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.