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AUBURN REPORTER Going Over and Beyond

Jane Teel meets students’ needs beyond the expected by Brooke Glassford

Jane Teel does not consider her job to be just a paycheck or occupational title. She has been on staff with Auburn University for 12 years. Teel is a professor and adviser for the Department of Communication and Journalism. Teel started out at the university teaching communication classes. “The opportunity to teach a class gives me that time in the classroom environment enabling me to relate to students on a different level. It also keeps me linked with other faculty that I otherwise would not be in contact with,” says Teel. Teel has now also been advising for five and a half years. In October, Teel will be promoted to Adviser III, the highest level for advisers. Advising, especially around registration times, is extremely time-consuming. Teel juggles many different people and situations, yet still makes each student feel like she has plenty of time to focus on him/her. Organization is the key to her efficiency. “I definitely work well with structure. I like to know the plan,” says Teel. Students tend to forget that while registering seems stressful to them, the advisers are meeting with students, answering hundreds of E-mails and perfecting countless schedules for students. Teel is the perfect example of an adviser who goes over and beyond the basic job description of an adviser. Teel’s honesty and encouragement sets her apart from the rest. When students come to her for advising, she takes the time to go through the pros and cons of different class routes they could possibly take. She is knowledgeable and honest about the work loads, wanting the students to be well-informed. She

“Mrs. Teel always makes those around her feel as comfortable as possible at all times,” said Merilyn Hand, a senior in communication at Auburn.”

maintains positivity in her advising and speaks words of encouragement inspiring students to rise to the challenges school can bring. Teel also has a list of other responsibilities in the communication and journalism department including but not limited to: enrollment management, orientation for new people in all four majors of the department, meeting prospective and transfer students, representative on Talons Day, managing the on-line wish lists, publicity needs for the department, and organizing the graduation day reception. Most importantly, above all of these responsibilities, Teel is a wife and a mother to two children. She is also an Auburn graduate, as well has her husband, children and most all

of her extended family. After graduating from Auburn, Teel worked as a speech therapist in public schools in the Auburn/Opelika area for seven years. Teel’s family then moved to Birmingham where she was a stay-at-home-mom and worked part time teaching communication classes at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. After completing that chapter in their life, Teel’s family moved back to The Plains to begin a new one. Along with teaching and advising, she is also working on her doctorate in education, and hoping to complete it by next spring. Teel clearly has a full plate. Despite that, she does her job, and she does her job well.

“From the basics and even deeper into the communication major, my classes at Auburn gave me the amazing foundation I needed to move into the real world.”

Elena Bahar

Auburn Communication – Success Starts Here


“From the basics and even deeper into the communication major, my classes at Auburn gave me the amazing foundation I needed to move into the real world.” Bahar grew up in Arlington, Texas where she lived for 18 years with her parents and brother. Her mother was born in Huntsville, Ala. and her father was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. Her desire for new experiences brought her to Auburn University where she graduated in August 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. She decided to pursue a career in radio after working with the on campus radio station, WEGL, as the director of promotions. “Even though I didn’t get paid, my experience as director of promotions was one I will never forget,” said Bahar. “I had one of the most amazing teams; our personalities and extracurricular actives couldn’t have been more different, but we all had a passion for radio.” After her experience at WEGL, Bahar found herself interning for Quantum Communications. Following her internship, she took a job as Quantum’s receptionist in order to continue gaining experience at the radio station.

“I learned so much from being out on location with the personalities, creating events, working the boards and so much more,” said Bahar. “It was during my internship that I really started to see opportunities outside the university and established relationships with people in the community of Auburn.” After Bahar graduated, several on-air positions opened up with WMXA Mix 96.7 and WKKR 97.7 Kicker FM. Quantum offered her a position doing mid-days on Mix96.7 and afternoons on Kicker FM. When the opportunity to become the director of promotions for WMXA, WKKR, WTLM and WZMG opened up, she took it. Bahar currently has this title at Quantum of Auburn. “I hate to even call my job an actual job,” said Bahar. “I wake up every morning, check out the news locally and around the world and relay it to thousands, play games, give away prizes and of course play music that people want to hear.” According to Bahar, the best part about her job is having the opportunity to enlighten others. Whether it is keeping people up to date with the weather, or even telling about different aspects of her personal life, being an informational outlet is rewarding for her. In October 2008, Quantum did an event to raise money and awareness for breast can-

cer research with the East Alabama Medical Center. They raised money by locking three of the DJs in a vehicle at a local dealership and surrounded them with cases of water. The promotion was called the “Wall of Water” and supporters were able to purchase the cases in order to free them from the vehicle. Once all of the cases were gone, the DJs were free and Quantum raised more than $2,000 for the East Alabama Medical Center. The Wall of Water promotion received an award in Nashville for the Small Market Promotion of the Year in 2009. “It was such an honor to represent our stations in Nashville and stand before highly acclaimed radio talent and accept this award,” said Bahar. “This was a joint effort of everyone at all of our stations and I was so honored that our hard work was acknowledged on such a large scale.” Bahar’s talent and dedication is evident when looking at her success beyond Auburn. Her advice to other students in the department is: “Don’t be afraid to push boundaries and meet new people; networking is a key to success. Take initiative and always be proud of your work. Everything will come together with patience, persistence and taking risks in life.”

Experience and Exposure in Eagle Eye Ross uses Eagle Eye to gain producing experience by: Maegan Moguel The Department of Communication and Journalism is aiding its students and many others interested in obtaining experience and exposure in the fields of reporting, broadcasting and producing all through one campus organization. Junior Latasha Ross from Montgomery, Ala. is taking full advantage of this opportunity to work at Eagle Eye, the official Auburn University broadcasting television station. “You can graduate from Auburn with a 4.0 GPA, but if you have no experience you’re likely not to get a job,” Ross said. Ross is currently a reporter for Eagle Eye. Her duties include thinking of story ideas, shooting footage, hosting interviews, reporting the story, and producing the final product. Although this sounds like a lot, Ross sees it as getting one more step closer to her dream job, a television producer. “When I was in high school, I really got into editing,” said Ross. “Whether it was making banners or putting together video slideshows, I just loved it!”

Even when her passion was growing for television production in high school, Ross gives credit to her classmates in junior high school who were “amazed” by the first script she wrote. Since then, she has been on a roll to obtain the most preparation and guidance into her future career. “The station has made me comfortable with the field and did away with any doubts I may have had about whether or not this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Ross said. Experienced Eagle Eye advisors Jim Jackson and Kevin Fichtner have taught Ross and many others how to operate high-quality, professional cameras and editing software used in the industry. “There are few classes that actually give you hands-on experience with video and reporting,” said Ross. “Eagle Eye is the closest you can get in Auburn to the field of broadcasting.” Organization members are also prepared for field work by learning the jargon language used by production staff members. “It would be embarrassing to have job interview and not know the meaning of

things such as ‘white balancing, b-roll, CU and tease in the production industry. Along with out of class experience, Ross encourages others to join Eagle Eye because of the networking opportunities she gained. “Kevin (Fichtner) worked for the news station that I would like to intern with and he was kind enough to give me great reference,” Ross said. “The staff is so helpful and pushes you to pursue your goals.” Ross hopes to intern in the summer of 2010 with WSFA Channel 12 in Montgomery. After her graduation in 2011, she plans to move to Atlanta and pursue a position with CNN or Time Warner. “I have learned so many things and made so many connections that would not have happened had I not joined Eagle Eye,” Ross said. If you are interested in joining Eagle Eye, go to one of their meetings on Monday nights at 7pm in the Eagle Eye Lobby, 1105 AU Student Center. To see various online broadcasts from Eagle Eye, go to its Web site at

“I have learned so many things and made so many connections that would not have happened had I not joined Eagle Eye.”

“It’s not an award by any means but anytime you go home and find The New York Times on your voice mail it’s kind of an award,” Walker said. “They were always really good to work for.”

Chris Walker

Photojournalism Professor Chris Walker at a glance


Since coming to Auburn University in fall 2007, Chris Walker is doing what he loves: teaching and interacting with students as a photojournalism professor. “I have always wanted to be a college teacher,” Walker said. “I enjoy people and I wanted to be around folks who I could share what I knew with.” According to his students, it’s easy to see that Walker enjoys teaching. “Chris Walker is a great professor,” Public relations major Katelyn Snyder said. “He is very knowledgeable and was always willing to make time to help when I needed it.” According to Walker, many of the professors in the Communication and Journalism Department at Auburn know a lot about the subject they teach. “I look at our department and I see people who actually understand the business because they were out there doing it,” Walker said. “Our kids leave our department with employable skills and that is immensely important to me.” Walker believes that it is very important for students to be taught by professors

who possess real world experience in their field. “That was a big reason in me coming here,” Walker said. “These people are workers and I wanted to be on a faculty with people who understood what work was.” Walker was born in Michigan and attended a community college where he originally thought he would work in Wildlife but changed his major to communication and journalism. In 2002, Walker received a Master of Fine Arts from the Department of Cinema and Photography at Southern Illinois State University. Walker has worked for many publications including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Associated Press. “It’s not an award by any means but anytime you go home and find The New York Times on your voice mail it’s kind of an award,” Walker said. “They were always really good to work for.” In 1995, through the Ernst Haas Awards, Walker was named one of the world’s top 100 emerging photographers. On the list that year included photographers from 13

countries. Walker worked for five years at The Blade newspaper in Toledo, Ohio as a general assignment manager and was awarded a prestigious award for one of his stories. In 2000, Walker along with two other co-workers was awarded a finalist of the Pulitzer Awards for an investigative reporting piece that exposed the United States Government and Brush Wellman Corporation for allowing defense contract workers to work in a knowingly hazardous environment. Brush Wellman Corporation was being bought off by the Government to allow plants to keep producing Beryllium bi-products even though they knew it was fatal. Beryllium dust has killed many of the company’s workers. Walker interviewed many of these workers for his story. “The two people I worked with on this, I know are gone,” Walker said. “The third I suspect is gone so it’s a devastating thing.” Walker is currently working on two long term projects, one which he started in 1989. He hopes to finish his series of portraits at county fairs within 25 years.

Auburn Reporter  

I created this newsletter that includes an article I wrote as well as other pieces from students in the department of communication and jour...