The Review: Issue 10 | 2021-2022

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Letter from the Dean


ight f rom the start, journalism has had an outsized impact at the University of Mississippi. In its very f irst year, 79 students signed up to take journalism courses, immediately making the new department one of the largest on campus. Now, as we approach our 75th year at the university, we are a school with a strong journalism foundation complemented by one of the largest and most innovative majors on campus – Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). This edition of The Review celebrates two important anniversaries. First, it’s hard to believe, but it has been 10 years since we launched our groundbreaking IMC program. In that time, we’ve grown to be the biggest integrated marketing communications program in the country. That didn’t happen by accident. The dedication of our faculty and staff and the enthusiasm of our students and graduates has been at the heart of our success. The journalism program is embarking on its 75th year with new energy. With a revised curriculum, we’re now attracting more students than we have in years. When journalism f irst arrived on campus, classes had a primary focus on reporting and editing – something that has not changed. What has changed is the toolkit we give our students to tell stories. We have implemented smartphones, drones, computers, and digital cameras into our classrooms. By doing this, we have continued in our goal of creating principled and dedicated practitioners. Through these pages, you may encounter old f riends or new people you’d like to meet. This year we’re also celebrating a f irst -- our f irst student-produced alumni magazine, featuring 75 prof iles selected and created by our students. Even so, we know they could have written 7500 prof iles because every one of you is an important part of our history and our future. Seventy-f ive years ago, journalism was founded at the University of Mississippi to expand opportunities for students. That is still our mission – to lead and excel in the education of a diverse body of students in journalism and integrated marketing communications. It has never been more relevant, nor more necessary to prepare journalists and IMC practitioners whose work is grounded in truth, f reedom of expression, responsibility and integrity. Let’s celebrate all that we’ve accomplished and all that we will do together in the future. Dr. Debora Wenger Interim Dean/Professor






WRITING Danielle Angelo, Shelby Bickes Toole, Emily Cochran, Caroline Gleason, Morgan O’Neal



DESIGN Danielle Angelo, Shelby Bickes Toole, Sabyius Boggan, Avery Bowman, Addison Carter, Nikki Daoust, Caroline Gleason, Anna Lauren Kornegay, Erin Norris, Meredith Warren, Clare Wojciechowski

PHOTOGRAPHY Leah Macfarland, Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

ADDITIONAL EDITING Margaret Dent, Victoria Hosey, Wade Griffin


PHOTO BY MARK DOLAN Articles and opinions expressed in The Review are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of The University of Mississippi or the School of Journalism and New Media. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine reprinted in any manner without the written permission of the publisher. 6

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The Review is published annually by The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media 114 Farley Hall University, MS 38677















Roots in OXFORD



with branches all over the world. While all of their roots stem from Farley Hall in Oxford, many graduates have branched out far beyond Mississippi. Some stayed in the south in places like Atlanta, Nashville, and throughout Mississippi and Texas. Others are across the country in New York City, Boston, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Some are even located across the globe in Finland, New Zealand and Russia. No matter where they may have ended up in the world, the lessons they have learned through the School of Journalism and New Media still continue to play an important role in the lives of many different alumni from the past 75 years.


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Ole Miss



75 Years of Excellence STORY BY MACKENZIE ROSS


tudent journalism has been a part of the University of Mississippi campus for over a century. The yearbook, The Ole Miss, was started in 1896. The student-run newspaper, The Mississippian, followed shortly after in 1911. It wasn’t until 1947 that the university finally added a department of journalism to its campus. The chancellor chose to place the department within The School of Business and Dr. Gerald Forbes became the first chair of the newlyformed Department of Journalism. In February 1947, the department was located in a tiny space in the Lyceum. A few months later, it was moved to two classrooms and two offices in one of the war-surplus buildings near Bishop Hall. Around 80 students signed up for courses, which instantly made it one of the largest departments on campus. New classes included management of the weekly newspaper, principles of advertising, layout and copy editing, news photography and more. The same year, Forbes established the Mississippi Scholastic Press Institute with the goal of exposing high school students to journalism at Ole Miss. Nearly 150 students and teachers attended the first event. Today, the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association still brings hundreds of high school students from across the state to the university each semester. In 1948, Sam Talbert joined the journalism team at Ole Miss, aiding in the growth of the program. He later became chair of the department when Forbes stepped down in 1956.

The Ole Miss yearbook is founded, highlighting campus and student life

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The student-run newspaper, The Mississippian, is founded

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The university creates a department of journalism


1949, THE OLE MISS ARCHIVES From the beginning of his tenure as chairman, Talbert recruited female students to help break the gender barrier at the time. Talbert served in that role until his death in 1972. In 2020, the school created the Talbert Fellows Program in his name, offering scholarship opportunities and financial assistance to students. In the summer of 1975, the department of journalism left the School of Business and joined the School of Liberal Arts. It wasn’t until 1979 that the department moved from Brady Hall to Farley Hall, the current home to the program. Another influential professor in the department’s early years was newspaperman S. Gale Denley. As a third-generation newspaper publisher, Denley brought a wealth of knowledge to the department and served as general manager of student media until


Sam Talbert joins the journalism department

The department joins the School of Liberal Arts



The department of journalism moves to Farley Hall



his retirement in 1996. In 2003, the university debuted and dedicated a new student media center in his honor. The center is now the home to students working on the school newspaper, yearbook, broadcast, radio and advertising staffs. In 1979, a broadcast journalism major was added to the department under the direction of Dan Gardner & Kit Rushing and in 1984, the first national magazine service journalism program in the country was launched under the direction of Dr. Samir Husni. The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics was founded in 2007 with funding through a $5 million grant from the Freedom Forum. It was named after chairman Charles Overby who served as former chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, Newseum and Diversity Institute. Overby graduated from the university in 1968 and also served as editor of The Daily Mississippian. Will Norton was also fundamental in the growth of the journalism school at the university. He served as chair of the department from

Broadcast journalism is added to the program



The first national magazine service journalism program in the country is launched

The Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics is founded


1977-1990. He left to be the Dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1990 to 2009. In 2009, Norton returned to Oxford to become the first dean as the journalism school expanded to become the School of Journalism and New Media. He resigned from his dean role in 2020 and Dr. Debora Wenger currently serves as interim dean. Integrated Marketing Communications(IMC) was introduced as a new major in 2011. IMC is described as a place where marketing meets creativity in a future-focused, real-world curriculum. The major has grown from 51 students in the fall of 2011 to over 1200 just 10 years later. The school has grown tremendously over the last 75 years and now offers four different degree programs – the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, the Master’s of Arts in Journalism, the Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and the Master’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications.


The evergrowing Department of Journalism becomes the School of Journalism with Will Norton as dean

A new major, Integrated Marketing Communications, is added to the curriculum



Dr. Debora Wenger becomes interim dean of the School of Journalism and New Media



IMC Degree Celebrates 10 Years and a Thousand Lives Changed STORY BY DEBORA WENGER


nly 51 adventurous students signed enabled the program to grow faster than on to enroll in the very first cohort anyone imagined at the start,” Fiene said. of the integrated marketing In the 10 years since the start of IMC, the communications (IMC) program at the School program has put an increased emphasis of Journalism and New Media. The year was on writing and has created dozens of new 2011, and those enthusiastic student pioneers courses. Students can now take advantage helped spread the word and grow IMC to of eight specialization areas, including sports more than 1200 students today. communication, social media, public relations, Darren Fike (2013) was part of that first media design and fashion promotion. group of intrepid students. Graduating senior Asia Guest says more “Thinking back on it, I could sense that importantly, the school has made her feel part the world was changing and that consumer of a family. behavior/business was likely to follow,” Fike “From the professors, to fellow classmates, said. “I knew that I needed to prepare myself to the administration, I couldn’t have asked for this new era, and that really is what for a better learning and growth-promoting charting a new path is all about. You forfeit environment,” Guest said. “Also, I liked the certainty in the pursuit of extraordinary broadness that IMC provides, meaning results.” that the skills and instruction that is taught Assistant Dean Scott Fiene was one of is invaluable and can be used in various the first faculty members hired to teach in occupations in the marketing world.” the IMC department, and he credits the The Georgia native plans for a career program’s popularity to several factors. working for environmental and social justice “First, there are only about a dozen or so IMC undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S., and ours is the only one housed in a school of journalism,” Fiene said. “That means our students don’t just learn marketing and communications, they learn about media. That’s a big advantage. Second, our faculty is superb. They’re experienced in the profession, they love teaching and they passionately care about student success.” Fiene says the IMC curriculum – including the required business minor in the undergraduate program – resonates with prospects, parents and employers. “These three things have sparked an incredible word-of-mouth that’s PHOTO BY LEAH MACFARLAND


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School of Journalism & New Media Student Population


1,750 1,600 1,450 1,300 1,050 900 750 600




IMC Program

and community engagement. In the past ten years, the program has launched the careers of more than a thousand students who are now working at Facebook, Coca-Cola, FedEx, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ole Miss Athletics, and more. Former IMC majors are also working for major public relations firms, agencies and many other creative media outlets. The program continues to create more experiential learning opportunities for students. A recent opportunity has come about as a competition team that is in its third year. On this team, students write, produce social media content or sell advertising for student media outlets. Plus, IMC majors are the driving force behind the school’s studentproduced fashion magazine and IMC majors







Journalism & IMC Program (overall growth)

also intern by the dozens for Ole Miss Athletics. Even so, IMC faculty and students have big plans for the future. “[We’re] ten years in, we’ve become the largest IMC program in the U.S., and now it’s time we do more to shape and lead the academy and the profession,” Fiene said. “We have an opportunity to become known as a place where thought-leaders converse; where industry professionals converge; where groundbreaking research happens and where the best and the brightest communicators graduate. Ten years from now, we want IMC to be more universally recognized, and we’re the school that can make that happen.” Happy Anniversary, IMC! Here’s to many more years of fostering innovative education in the School of Journalism and New Media. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE




n an April afternoon in 1967, a young man with a notebook stands just to the side of two men face-to-face, deep in intense discussion. One of them, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, has come to the Mississippi Delta town of Cleveland to see for himself the scale of the desperate hunger and poverty that pervades the region. The other man, local newspaper editor Cliff Langford, a vocal opponent of racial equality, has just confronted Kennedy, angry that this famous man has come to the poorest part of his town and brought the press attention that inevitably followed RFK. Langford is incensed at the notion that unemployment and hunger are a problem. Anyone in the Delta who wants to work can get a job, and anyone who wants food can get it, Langford asserts. As Langford speaks, the young reporter -- clean shaven, buttoned up, wearing a tie – folds his arms. And though his face remains largely impassive, he shoots a shrewd, sideways glance to a group of children close by. Curtis Wilkie, who retired in December from 18 years of teaching journalism in the School of Journalism and New Media, was that 27year-old reporter for the Clarksdale Press Register. He knew that Langford’s notion was belied by both the 1962 ,THE OLE MISS ARCHIVES

Graduated from Ole Miss and began reporting for the Clarksdale Press Register

1963 14

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Covered struggle for civil rights during Freedom Summer

official economic numbers fromhis own state and, most vividly, the faces of the rail-thin Black children standing in rags a few yards away. Wilkie’s knowing glance, captured on camera in the background of the confrontation, is a subtle tell, but one that foreshadows his life’s work. A lifetime as an eyewitness to history as it is made in the U.S and abroad. A lifetime penetrating the denial, spin, propaganda and pomposity of leaders and politicians, demagogues and dictators, seeking the truth and sharing it with readers. Covering Civil Rights Four years earlier, Wilkie had arrived at the Press Register for his first full-time reporting job after earning a journalism degree from of the University of Mississippi. His new position in Clarksdale, put Wilkie at an epicenter of the civil rights movement during the 1960s. During his time at the paper, Wilkie covered boycott and protests by the NAACP, 1964’s Freedom Summer and Mississippi’s violent response; as well as visits to the area by politicians and civil rights leaders, such, Martin Luther King Jr., and James Meredith. When Robert F. Kennedy toured the Mississippi Delta in 1967, Wilkie was there at each stop. In 1968, when King came to Mississippi to organize the Poor People’s Campaign, Wilkie spent 48 hours with him. Two weeks later, King was dead, slain by an assassin’s bullet. “I was covering the movement first-hand,” Wilkie said. “And seeing the Clarksdale police behaving the way they did, from then on, I became very sympathetic to the movement.”

Covered Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to the Mississippi Delta



Covered Martin Luther King, Jr. as he began organizing the Poor People’s campaign

Served as a Congressional Fellow for the American Political Science Association in Congress in Washington, DC


But this meant that Wilkie had to confront his feelings about what he was covering and sort out just how to do his job properly. He learned to carefully describe what he saw-- things like school children jailed for parading without a permit for marching with American flags, the police forcing too many people into cells and turning up the heat in the summer, and other brutal and unjust acts. “Those were the stories that you simply had to just report accurately. All you had to do was just write these things, and make sure you get the damn story accurate and that you’re fair and honest and that you are accountable,” he said. By 1969, though, as Wilkie wrote in his memoirs, he was “overfed on the Southern experience.” Named to a prestigious Congressional Fellowship, he moved with his young family to Washington, D.C. “When I left the South, I was repudiating physically, mentally and spiritually everything I had experienced there, the whole government mentality of the state,” he later recalled. On the Campaign Trail By 1971, Wilkie had moved to Delaware and once again had a reporter’s notebook in his hand, reporting for the Wilmington News Journal. The paper soon assigned Wilkie, who by this time had let his hair grow long and added a mustache, to cover the 1972 presidential campaign, landing



Began reporting for the Wilmington News Journal in Delaware

Featured as one of a young cohort of innovative political reporters in Rolling Stone magazine’s article by Timothy Crouse


him in the press corps famously profiled by Timothy Crouse, first for Rolling Stone and then in his subsequent book-length critique of political journalism, “The Boys on the Bus.” Wilkie stood out as a new kind of young reporter, one who eschewed the “pack mindset” and conveyed the color and flavor of a campaign with a sharp, accurate eye for detail, according to Tom Oliphant, a long-time friend, colleague at the Boston Globe and co-author, was another young reporter featured in the book. They caught Crouse’s attention, Oliphant said, as journalists who were beginning to move away from the “buttoned-up, two-dimensional” reporting of previous campaign coverage. While Wilkie took always took his craft seriously, Oliphant recalled, he maintained an irreverent spirit that meant he didn’t take himself, the press corps or even the candidates too seriously. “Anyone with their chest puffed up one millimeter is going to get Curtis going,” Oliphant said. Wilkie’s reporting had more flair than others of the day, Oliphant said. However, he still retained a deep suspicion of too much speculation in print about a candidate or campaign’s motivations. “Curtis always worked like a dog to get the whole story. His notebooks were always full of reporting, but what he was doing in the 1970s was something that had not been done; he was giving you something of the flavor of a campaign. He could put you right there.” Veteran journalist Jules Witcover also met Wilkie on that campaign. He remembers Wilkie as a young reporter with an intriguing background -easy to talk to with a lively curiosity, he said. “Although he comes from the South, he had broad, universal interests, which made him an interesting person. He is from the South but not really of the South,” Witcover said. Oliphant said that Wilkie resisted the role of “explainer of the South” and never played the “professional Southerner” in the press corps. Instead, his life and professional experience in Mississippi was


Began reporting for the Boston Globe

Became White House correspondent for the Boston Globe



Began covering the Middle East and later served as Jerusalem bureau chief 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


Covered national and international stories for the Globe based out of Boston



Established a New Orleans bureau for the Globe and wrote primarily about the South

Covered the trial of Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 murder of NCAAP Mississippi Field Secretary Medgar Evers


woven into in his journalistic DNA. “It brought a very special understanding to his writing. His work reflected who he was without him having to walk around parading it.” Charlie Pierce, a Boston-based journalist who writes the politics blog for Esquire, was a young journalist working for rival newspapers when he first came to know of Wilkie from Crouse’s book. Once he started writing for the Boston Globe in 1975, Pierce says he intentionally sought out Wilkie’s byline. “He’s a giant,” Pierce said. “He really was part of a generation who changed journalism for the better.” Pierce especially appreciated Wilkie’s deep understanding of the humanity of politics. “There’s a bone-and-blood sense of political humanity in the South that doesn’t exist in a lot of other places,” he said. Asking the Hard Questions The 1972 campaign was the just first of eight presidential campaigns Wilkie would go on to cover. Judy Woodruff, who now anchors the PBS NewsHour, was reporting on Jimmy Carter’s campaign when she met him in 1975 as he was covering the Southern governor’s unlikely bid for the presidency for the Globe. “He was just in the middle of everything. He was one of a kind, I mean, the hair, the look, the brains, steeped in his own personal history in the South. He was so smart and wise and funny,” Woodruff said. Because he was a fellow Southerner, Carter’s campaign staff expected him to be, “maybe a kind of cheerleader because he had more of an understanding of where Carter was coming from,” Woodruff said. “But, in fact, Curtis is tough-nosed reporter, and he’s always going to hold the candidate accountable. He’s always going to ask the hard question. It’s just the kind of journalism he does. He may be the most affable person in the press corps, but he’s not going to cut you slack.” 16

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1998 Retired from the Boston Globe Covered the trial of Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel Bowers for the 1966 murder of civil rights leader Vernon Dahmer


Former NBC Nightly News anchor and author Tom Brokaw also met Wilkie during the Carter campaign. “His legend preceded him,” Brokaw said. “He was hugely popular with fellow scribes. And sources trusted him because he didn’t play “gotcha.” Everyone wanted to sit at Wilkie’s table, Brokaw recalled. Journalist and author Eleanor Randolph, who was reporting for the Chicago Tribune, was Wilkie’s seatmate during Carter’s campaign. One of Wilkie’s essential strengths on the campaign trail, she recalled, was his insight into the political ramifications of events as they happened. “He was always staring at places that politicians didn’t want him to see,” she said. Wilkie also could reveal the color of day-to-day politics with a sharp eye for detail, she noted. “He was just very, very good at telling the truth of a campaign and the political season, making it interesting and bringing the flair. A lot of people can’t do that. It’s very hard to do. And he made it look so damn easy!” she said. Revolutions and Revolutionaries Carter’s surprising win carried Wilkie to Washington to cover the White House into the Reagan presidency. But by 1982, Wilkie had begun periodic reporting trips to cover the Middle East, and, in 1984, began a three-year stint based in Jerusalem for the Globe. Wilkie found that, while direct comparisons between the segregated South and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were simplistic, the power imbalance and the intensity of the animosity between the two groups were familiar facets to many of the stories he covered. Jeff Price manned the Baltimore Sun’s Middle East bureau during the same era and traveled frequently with Wilkie. “I believe his Southern background and experience with the Jim Crow era had an impact on


Began teaching journalism at Ole Miss

Named the Kelly G. Cook Chair of Journalism



Long-time friends Butch and Pat Cothren establish the Curtis Wilkie Journalism Scholarship

Became the inaugural fellow at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

his view of mistreated minority populations everywhere,” Price said. “In the Middle East, this was most cruelly manifest in the treatment the Arab population living under Israeli occupation in Palestine, which is to say the West Bank and Gaza, to which many of them had been pushed further and further in successive conflicts from 1948 to 1967.” Wilkie agrees that covering the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi set his frame of reference for the rest of his life. “Seeing the courage of those people who were involved in it, and what they did to prevail -- it made me sympathetic with most revolutions. There are some exceptions, of course, but since then, I’ve largely found revolutions and revolutionaries to be very interesting.” Price points out that, beyond shaping Wilkie’s reporting, his Southern background could also have an amusing side. At one press conference in Beruit, following the hijacking of a plane in 1985, a spokesman (who spoke English very well) called on Curtis, who never lost his Southern accent. “As Wilkie spoke, the briefer had an increasingly pained look on his face. At the end of the question, he looked over the assembled journalists and said, “I am sorry, I did not understand the question. Can someone please translate into English?’” Price recalled. A Job Like No Other After he returned from the Middle East, Wilkie covered national and international stories for several years based out of Boston. But on his occasional trips home, he took note of a changing South. By 1993, he had persuaded the Globe to let him man a New Orleans bureau. He was soon travelling the region, documenting both what had changed -- and what had not. One of his early stories was the trial and successful prosecution of Byron De la Beckwith for the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, for example. In presidential election



Wilkie retires from teaching at Ole Miss

years, though, he still hit the campaign trail, until at the end of the 2000 election season, he retired from the Globe. In retirement, however, Wilkie still had an audience. He wrote books (his latest is set for publication in June) and used his extensive contacts to bring dozens of speakers in to illuminate the powerful and complex forces still at play -- for better and for worse -- in his home region’s politics for the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. Beyond that work, though, he has taught a generation of young journalists – an estimated 1,500 – who now populate newsrooms nationwide, from the tiny weekly Stone County Enterprise in rural Mississippi to and PBS News Hour in Washington, D.C. Even though journalism has changed over the years, Wilkie said that, if a student is truly interested in journalism, then he can still recommend it without reservation. “I know of no other job that an ordinary person like myself can go into that offers the experiences that you are able to enjoy – experiences that enlighten you, that educate you – like journalism.” To read three of Wilkie’s stories pulled from his long career, go to Books/A/Assassins-Eccentrics-Politicians-and-Other-Persons-of-Interest.

Curtis Wilkie takes notes as PLO leader Yasser Arafat and his fighters assure reporters that he and his cause are still alive during a month-long siege in Tripoli, Lebanon in 1983. Wilkie is to Arafat’s right in a striped shirt. / COURTESY PHOTO. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE



Over the last 75 years, many students have left their classrooms to do remarkable work within and outside of the journalism and integrated marketing communications fields. Students from the magazine service journalism class reached out to alumni to learn about their time at Ole Miss and what their life has looked like after graduation. Here are 75 of those unique alumni that make the School of Journalism and New Media proud.


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Maralyn Bullion Class of 1944 Retired Oxford, Miss.



aralyn Bullion left a legacy at Ole Miss after graduating in 1944. She served as the first female Associated Student Body president during a time when most of the male student body population on campus left to serve in World War II. She received her degree in English, before journalism was even an option. “I wanted to pursue journalism but at that point there was no journalism course,” said Bullion. Her senior year, journalism 101 was added to the course schedule. The Oxford native moved to Memphis after graduation, working as a copywriter and proofreader at Plough Inc. She then moved to Atlanta where she was a staff writer for The American Red Cross. She returned to Oxford in 1996. The Bullion name might be familiar because her son, Stuart Bullion, served as chair of the journalism department from 1997 until his passing in 2004. At 98 years old, Bullion is retired and continues to live in the community she grew up in, giving back through her work with restoration and preservation projects around Oxford. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


“I had an extended major in journalism… it was a fabulous experience. We had lots of hands on practical instruction while we were there. I developed writing skills. I developed investigative skills, getting to the nuts and bolts about what something is about which is something I do in the legal practice in just about everything I work on.”

John Corlew Journalism, Class of 1965 Attorney Corlew, Munford, & Smith PLLC Jackson, Miss.

“I have worked to establish service journalism chairs at the University of Mississippi, where I was named a Distinguished Alumnus and was elected to the Alumni Hall of Fame, and at the University of Missouri. Dr. Sam Talbert had a great impact on my early career in journalism.”

James Autry Journalism, Class of 1955 Retired & Former President of Magazine Group at the Meredith Corporation Moines, Iowa

“One of the best things is that being a journalist teaches you not to be afraid of a blank page. You have a deadline to meet. Don’t get it right, get it written. You can always go back and fix it later, but get something working. I took that as a motto and to not be afraid to write. I’ve probably written my opening paragraphs 15 or 20 times. I can’t go on with the rest of the book until I have that first part written in some form.”


“I both enjoyed and grew while at Ole Miss. Having been raised in the business, I knew what I needed and was somewhat able to tailor my schedule to help reach some goals that I set. Dr. Sam Talbert, Dr. Jere Hoar, Gale Denley, Joe White and the rest always seemed to have their finger on the pulse of what we needed to do. They never let anything slide, and they could correct and point out your mistakes without talking down to you or being condescending.”

Jack Rhea Tannehill Journalism, Class of 1968 Former Editor & Publisher for 44 years The Appeal Union, Miss.

“I learned the basics of the craft at Ole Miss both in classrooms and in a part-time job with the University’s Public Relations office as a graduate student, where I shot 16mm film and wrote scripts for what used to be called “video news releases.”

Julie Smith

Tom Bearden

Journalism, Class of 1965 Writer, Publisher, Digital Marketer booksBnimble & bBn Marketing Bay St. Louis, Miss.

Journalism, Class of 1968 Retired & Formerly with The PBS NewsHour Lone Tree, Colo.

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“I enjoyed my time at Ole Miss and the life long friends I made there. One of my sons graduated from Ole Miss and I have a house in Oxford so I guess you could say that I never really left.”

Cindy Conner Burnett Journalism, Class of 1973 Retired & Former Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Reputation Management FedEx Memphis, Tenn.

“I started out in Pre-Med, but one summer of trying to understand physics convinced me to take another direction. I came to fine tune the writing that I had started as a teenager, but abandoned somewhat when I began college to seek a career in medicine. I also learned the “fine art” of good reporting at Ole Miss, which came in handy as I was hired as the first African American reporter at the Clarion Ledger in December 1974. A year later, I would be able to suggest that Otis Sanford would be a good fit as a reporter for the paper. “

Linda Buford-Burks Journalism, Class of 1974 President & Owner Rapha Communications, LLC Jackson, Miss.

“I have so many memories of staying late at the Daily Mississippian working on stories, walking through the Grove at night. I also had a lot of fun writing a political column, and recently I’ve been covering politics for the New York Times. Working on the Daily Mississippian was instrumental in helping me get to where I am in my career because it was very much on the job training.”

Stephanie Saul Journalism, Class of 1975 Education Reporter The New York Times New York, N.Y.

“When I left Ole Miss, I went to work for a local newspaper back in McComb, then an opportunity came up at the Jackson Daily News. I worked there for a while and actually became the editor. Now, I do about 10 regional wholesale shows and I have 10 sales people on the road, selling fashion jewelry to hospitals gift shops and boutiques.”

June Gilbert Journalism, Class of 1978 President & Owner Elise Jewelry McComb, Miss. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


“I am where I am today because of my experience at Ole Miss. I was both a journalism master’s degree student and a full time staff member at Ole Miss for six years. It was a powerful combination and set me up for success.”

Tom Rieland Master’s in Journalism, Class of 1987 General Manager WOSU Public Media Columbus, Ohio

“The thing that is the most meaningful was when I left Ole Miss, I went to the Cincinnati Enquirer and was the copy editor. I wanted to shift to public relations and wanted to have day-time hours. I worked at a PR agency and owned a business but I wanted to come back to Mississippi. Coming back to Mississippi and working on behalf of people that are 50 or older has been very meaningful.”

Ronda Gooden Journalism, Class of 1987 Communications Director AARP Mississippi Jackson, Miss.

“I had a great college experience at Ole Miss. I left with an education that has served me well, some wonderful life-long friendships, a deep appreciation for southern cuisine, and more cherished memories than one could ask for.”

Jill Arce Journalism, Class of 1988 Web Content Manager Unity Technologies Floresville, Texas 22

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“My time at Ole Miss prepared me to enter a world with an understanding of how to work with people from different backgrounds as well as the confidence to believe that my voice mattered. Leading the nations largest social enterprise employing women survivors involved a list of job duties about 4 pages long! I spend a lot of time working through HR issues and challenges, helping build our customer and donor growth strategy, and creating new opportunities to help more women succeed. Anytime a woman tells me that I’m the first man she has ever felt like she could trust, I know that I am doing something right.”

Hal Cato Journalism, Class of 1987 CEO Thistle Farms Nashville, Tenn.

“I would strongly recommend Ole Miss to anyone interested in journalism, marketing & new media. SGP is the only sustainability certification covering the printing industry. I lead the NGO’s Board of Directors to provide a more sustainable supply chain for the printing industry and its customers.”

“We really had a well rounded education in journalism. We took classes in reporting, as well as design and photography. I’m not just pigeoned holed in writing copy. Love the emphasis on service journalism, that was the emphasis on the magazine program and what I do now.”

Jonathan Graham

Mark Ray

Master’s in Journalism, Class of 1990 Chair of the Board of Directors The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership Boeblingen, Germany

Master’s in Journalism, Class of 1990 Writer and Editor Freelance Louisville, Ky.

“I worked at The Daily Mississippian as the opinion editor and I had a comic strip. My favorite thing to write about has always been features and entertainment writing. I started out covering things like bands playing at Proud Larry’s. This awakened a desired in me to see the world and to tell people stories which is why I think a lot of people want to get in to journalism, it is because they are curious.”

Nik Dirga Journalism, Class of 1995 AAP Factcheck Reporter, Content Moderator for Pagemasters Australia, Freelance Writer Auckland, New Zealand

“I got MBA from Finland before going to the US, so without my Ole Miss experience I would not have landed in media. The combination of MA in Journalism and MBA is a match made in heaven: a perfect background for my current position which requires a good knowledge of contents and how to make profitable business out of it. I miss magnolia trees, the sound of crickets at night, the mostly sunny weather and peaceful easy feeling over there.”

“The Student Media Center provided me the real-life, hands-on experience that prepared me for my marketing and advertising career. Growing up in Oxford, Ole Miss will always be a special place to me, but my time at the School of Journalism will always have my heart.”

Katriina Kaarre

Fletcher Whitwell

Master’s in Journalism, Class of 1990 Publishing Director Otavamedia Ltd. Helsinki, Finland

Journalism, Class of 1997 Partner and Chief Media & Publishing Officer R&R Partners Las Vegas, Nev. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


“My professors taught me how to think creatively, write compelling cases, ask good questions and, above all, listen. Always remember, with an Ole Miss degree you can be successful anywhere.”

Kenton Watt Journalism, Class of 1998 Senior Director of Development Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas

“I oversee six newsrooms and their reporters, editorial staff and operations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix and Toronto. For Open Vallejo, I act as a top-line editor and adviser on investigative pieces centered around Freedom of Information Act reporting.”

Riley Gutiérrez McDermid Journalism, Class of 2002 West Coast Regional Editor & Senior Investigative Editor Open Vallejo & Dow Jones San Francisco, Calif.


“My education opened my eyes to other interests. I love journalism, especially print journalism, while I didn’t stay with that major, I was able to use what I learned from having that journalism and English background to help me become a better educator. “

Anelyse Pitts Jacobs Journalism, Class of 1999 Kindergarten Teacher Mannsdale Elementary School Madison, Miss.

“My education at Ole Miss (inside and outside of the classroom) has been invaluable. I would not be the person I am today without it. Being able to cover the Saints is a dream come true. Growing up in New Orleans, I loved the Saints and idolized Archie Manning. But the best memories come from the validation that my work has been read and appreciated by others – especially fellow journalists.”

“My experience at Ole Miss has dramatically changed my life for the better. I was the only Chinese student in the Department of Journalism at that time. I still remember the day in 2000 when I received an admission letter from Ole Miss to pursue my M.A. degree in Journalism. The letter also included a tuition waiver, a graduate student fellowship, and a teaching assistantship.”

Chris Price

Nancy Xu

Journalism, Class of 2000 Proprietor, Communications Specialist Chris Price Custom Media Little Rock, Ark.

Master’s in Journalism, Class of 2002 Formerly with China Press & Global Times Los Angeles, Calif.

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“Confidence is one of the things that I gained from my time at Ole Miss. That “go get it” attitude was ingrained in me from day one. Now, I teach creative writing and world literature; plus I teach AP to freshman journalism students.”

Deb Payne Purnell Journalism, Class of 2002 Director of the Writing Center & Instructional Assistant Professor Mississippi Valley State University Itta Bena, Miss.

“Ole Miss left an indelible mark on me. I will never forget the experience. I will always cherish it. The interesting thing about graduate school at Ole Miss, I found out, was that they didn’t give you the answers, they expected you to find the answers. They gave you the tools, they gave you some direction, but they never gave you the answers. That’s super empowering. When I look back on my education, I’m really proud of the work I did, and I’m really proud of the people who helped develop me, and I’m proud to know them. It was a fantastic learning experience for me, and one I treasure.”

Marshall McKinney Master’s in Journalism, Class of 2000 Creative Director Garden & Gun Charleston, S.C.

“My education at Ole Miss prepared me for not only owning my own business, but also gave me great experience in the journalism field which has enhanced my business in public relations, communication and marketing. I started Taylor Square Photography in 2012. Now it is a full functioning photography studio which offers all types of photography. “

Ann-Marie Wyatt Journalism, Class of 2003 Owner Taylor Square Photography Oxford, Miss.

“The great thing about a university like Ole Miss is that there is always an opportunity to try something that you’re interested in if you’re willing to seek it out. When you go to a school of this size with a program of this caliber, the opportunities are virtually endless.”

Rima Chaddha Mycynek Journalism, Class of 2004 Project Administrator, Science Writer, & Communications Specialist Tufts University Boston, Mass. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


“Though I’m no longer a journalist, I still write every single day and I can always draw from the lessons I learned at Ole Miss.”

Marti Covington Journalism, Class of 2008 Human Resources Communications Writer Texas Children’s Hospital Houston, Texas

“As a freelancer my job is different every single day. Some days I’m in the studio shooting with actors and performers, others I’m on red carpets for Broadway openings or backstage shooting candids of actors getting ready for their Broadway shows. This past year during Covid since Broadway has been shutdown I’ve been shooting more news for ABC and even got to cover election night and the inauguration in DC. I’m lucky that my job is always changing.”

Jenny Anderson Journalism, Class of 2007 Photographer Freelance New York, N.Y.

“As a science journalist for many years, I had to read a lot of scientific literature, magazines etc., as well as interview American and European researchers, all in English. My English is still far from good but at least I can work, thanks to Ole Miss.”

Karèn Shainyan Journalism, Class of 2008 Journalist and Producer Freelance Moscow, Russia 26

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“I enjoy amplifying the voices of the bold and diverse group of women on our show and their conversations with everyone from politicians, Hollywood stars, and the human interest stories of Americans that have a story to tell. The Student Media Center at Ole Miss is where I really got my first taste of working in media and I really tried all different forms of media and would say that I credit those experiences to getting me where I am today.”

Nathan Geddie Journalism, Class of 2005 Digital Producer ABC News & ’The View’ New York, N.Y.

“There are so many favorites and many include our Inside the NBA crew but the memories that mean the most are the ones where we’ve been able to tell purposeful stories at the intersections of sport, community and culture. My favorite would have to be writing ‘Dear Chicago’ for NBA-All Star 2020.”

Oscar Pope Journalism, Class of 2010 NBA Content Marketing Manager Turner Sports / WarnerMedia Atlanta, Ga.

“When I was a freshman in college, I was not at Ole Miss, I was at Northern Arizona University... I transferred my sophomore year to Ole Miss, and it wound up being one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Katie Eubanks Journalism, Class of 2010 President Mississippi Christian Living Magazine Gluckstadt, Miss.

“When I arrived at Ole Miss, I was immersed into a new culture while learning how balance school, a social life, and living on my own for the first time. I took full advantage of all the opportunities we had as students at Ole Miss. I still subscribe to the “work hard/play hard” mentality I learned in Oxford.”

Allison Croghan Journalism, Class of 2011 Chief Meteorologist FOX 13 News Salt Lake City, Utah

“I actually transferred to Ole Miss for the opportunities. There were so many things I was involved in, and I am forever grateful. God Bless Robin Street! To this day, I use the PR plan that we had to create in her class. I still use that as a template guide for when I create campaigns.”

Daphne Dunning Journalism, Class of 2011 Owner Buzz PR and Marketing Group Atlanta, Ga.

“I discovered my passion for journalism at the University of Mississippi. It was a story at NewsWatch that led me to that calling. After that, I landed an internship at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta and, as they say, the rest is history. I report for all of ABC’s platforms including Good Morning America and World News Tonight.”

Elwyn Lopez Journalism, Class of 2011 Reporter ABC News Atlanta, Ga.



“Ole Miss is a special place, and I feel fortunate to have experienced it as a student and also to have the opportunity to work at a place that I care so deeply for. The Ole Miss community really does feel like family. It is my hope that every prospective student who visits our campus can feel the sense of hospitality and caring that pervades the Ole Miss family.”

“The hands-on experience offered through the School of Journalism prepared me for my first day on the job in a newsroom and beyond. By the time I graduated college, I was far ahead of future colleagues because I already worked in a newsroom at the Student Media Center that produced a nightly broadcast, turned real-time stories, and did field producing.”

Neal Ann Chamblee

Margaret Ann Morgan Macloud

Journalism, Class of 2011 Admissions Counselor University of Mississippi Admissions Memphis, Tenn.

“Going to Ole Miss and majoring in journalism was a life changing experience. It really prepared me for a life in television. Lessons were crucial. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Being a cheerleader was really fun, too!”

Aubry Killion Journalism, Class of 2012 News Reporter WDSU New Orleans, La.

“Video editing was the most beneficial thing I learned in journalism school at Ole Miss. To be honest, I didn’t realize how pivotal having that skill was going to be for my career when I graduated. In 2012, social media was still evolving, and so the media world was evolving with it.”

Ashley Barnett Journalism, Class of 2012 Former Digital Content Creator/ Georgia Tech Athletics Publisher Sports Illustrated Atlanta, Ga. 28

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Journalism, Class of 2013 Media Relations Specialist, Initiatives and Programs University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, Miss.

“I have so many amazing memories from my time at Worth, but most recently we launched our 2021 Groundbreaking Women List—a carefully curated list of over 50 women whose work has been important to accelerating progress for women and minorities and propelling us closer to an equal and just world.”

Emily Cegielski Journalism, Class of 2013 Editorial Director Worth Media New York, N.Y.

“I learned so much and got the opportunity to work with some really great people. I got hours and hours of experience at the Student Media Center and I truly value it all.”

Jontarius Haywood Journalism, Class of 2013 Elementary School Counselor Cleveland School District Cleveland, Miss.

“I started journalism my junior year, and I knew I always wanted to be an artist but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with it. Journalism helped me figure out my love for print and magazines.”

Daly Cantrell Journalism, Class of 2014 Graphic Designer iHeart Media Nashville, Tenn.

“Even though my current career doesn’t have much to do with my major, my job does require strong communication skills because I am constantly adapting and communicating with surgeons, hospital administration, and sales representatives. IMC gave me the tools needed to communicate efficiently and effectively in the workplace.” “The ability to tell stories effectively is the difference between a decent journalist and a great one. To be able to relate the common person with those who’ve reached the apex of their fields enables us to see the truth in each other, and we’re all better for it.”

Norman Seawright Journalism, Class of 2013 Weekend Sports Anchor WCCO-TV Minneapolis, Minn.

Ivey Swan Bell IMC, Class of 2015 Mako Product Specialist Stryker Corporation Jackson, Miss.

“I think people underestimate how much having good social skills can help you in a work environment. Ole Miss certainly helped with that. Between working at sports events, NewsWatch, classes and actually having a life Ole Miss taught me the importance of balance.”

Bailey Braseth Journalism, Class of 2015 Technical Director ESPN Bristol, Conn. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


“I credit many of my Ole Miss professors for my success as a student, so it is difficult to pick just one. I have to give the most credit to my thesis advisor Dr. Melissa Bass in the Department of Public Policy Leadership and several of my favorite journalism instructors, including Bill Rose, Charlie Mitchell, Ellen Meacham, Kathleen Wickham, Alysia Burton Steele, and Darren Sanefski, for teaching me the finer points of writing, reporting, critical thinking, photography, and design. I use each skill every day. I also thank Patricia Thompson for her leadership of the Student Media Center where I fine-tuned the skills I learned in the classroom.”

Phillip Waller Journalism, Class of 2015 Communications Director Office of Senator Roger F. Wicker Washington, DC

“Ole Miss gave me the tools and foundation for my career path in video production. Through skills and techniques from professors and staff members, I was able to learn and expand my knowledge of visual and content creation. I shoot and edit original video content, such as interviews, press conferences, and red-carpet events. I also produce video-on-demand for social media and digital output and live and pre-recorded video series for the web and social media. My favorite memory is shooting and producing our red carpet show for the 2019 CMA Awards.”

Michael Fant Journalism, Class of 2015 Video Producer The Tennessean – USA Today Network Nashville, Tenn. 30

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“I’d just like to thank Ole Miss and the town of Oxford for the incredible time I spent in Mississippi. I came in as just a kid from New Jersey not knowing anyone or anything about the area. I left with a lifetime amount of friends and memories. From dinners at Ajax, to rushing the field against Alabama, I’ll forever be a Rebel. Hotty Toddy!”

Cameron Cook Journalism, Class of 2014 International Web Producer National Hockey League Manhattan, N.Y.

“Without the real world experiences reporting in the field and producing stories in the studio, at Ole Miss, I would not be the content creator that I am today. Ole Miss prepared me day one at ESPN to understand how to find a good story, how to discover sources for that story, and how to execute that story.”

Browning Stubbs Journalism, Class of 2016 Content Associate ESPN Austin, Texas

“The school allowed me to explore sides of marketing and communications that I was not aware existed. I would not be where I am today if I had not had the great educators and mentors that challenged me to branch out from traditional concepts of marketing.”

Erin McMurray IMC, Class of 2016 Business Partnerships Client Services Coordinator Texas Rangers Arlington, Texas

“The University of Mississippi gave me a well-rounded education that I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else. Although I spend much of my professional life as a freelance writer, I found that I wanted to continue to grow in my writing and research and recently enrolled in graduate classes at Texas State University in Literature. Hotty Toddy!”

Mallory Lehenbauer Master’s in Journalism, Class of 2016 Professional Freelancer Professional Freelancer Austin, Texas

“The Student Media Center was where I spent most of my time, learned about my skill set and strengthened it. It’s what I think of most when I think of my education. I’m in the process of creating my own multimedia company - Pivot. I would love to start creating my own documentaries with that.”

Sudu Upadhyay Journalism, Class of 2016 Formerly with Fox 5 Atlanta, Ga.

“I auditioned for NewsWatch Ole Miss twice before finally making it senior year as an anchor and correspondent. I hope that someday I can give back to Ole Miss what it gave to me and being an Ole Miss journalism alumni is a huge motivator for my success.”

Jana Rosenburg Journalism, Class of 2017 TV Host & Entertainment Correspondent and Lead Content Manager Hollywire Los Angeles, Calif.



“The University of Mississippi provided me both the specialized education in IMC and career experience working in Ole Miss Athletics as a Communications Assistant to be prepared for my current role at the PGA TOUR.”

Jackie Servais Master’s in IMC, Class of 2018 Communications Specialist PGA Tour Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

“Ole Miss is one of a kind, and taught me not only the skills I needed to land a newspaper job right after graduation but the networking and social skills to more easily connect with both people who I’m reporting on and the people I’m working with daily.”

Lana Ferguson Journalism, Class of 2018 News Reporter The Island Packet Bluffton, S.C.


“My biggest experience was as a student athlete on campus. The opportunities I had for scholarship and as an athlete led me to falling in love with higher education and college athletics, and then to continue working in higher education and development at Ole Miss now.”

Brady Bramlett Master’s in IMC, Class of 2018 Associate Director of Annual Giving for University of Mississippi Office of Development & Executive Managing Director of Living Music Resource™ Oxford, Miss.

“I started off as an exercise science major… I took classes and realized I didn’t want to do that for my life, and I was really good at writing journalism is in my blood. I found IMC, which was super new at the time. I didn’t want to put myself in one bucket with journalism and I feel like with IMC you get your hands in it all and can experience so much.”

“The classes I took at Ole Miss taught me a lot, but my experience working as copy chief of The Daily Mississippian my junior and senior year had the greatest impact. I got to experience working in a newsroom five days a week before I even graduated and entered the real world.”

Alex Hicks

Maggie Martin

IMC & Master’s in IMC, Class of 2017 & 2019 Digital Marketing Manager Varsity Spirit Memphis, Tenn.

Journalism, Class of 2018 Copy Editor CoStar Group Atlanta, Ga.

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“I believe the mentors I had along the way is a part of the reason I am where I am today. The weekend report trips, the magazine projects and the aboard reporting helped a lot as well. My experience in high-impact community outreach programs, political fundraising, and strategic messaging has enabled me to excel in virtually any scenario.”

Ariel Cobbert Journalism, Class of 2018 Photojournalist The Commercial Appeal Memphis, Tenn.

“The journalism school did a lot for me, including pointing me towards passion projects such as working within the Student Media Center. There is where I directed and designed the yearbook and was able to find what I really like to do. Between the SMC and the town of Oxford, I was able to get some experience with newspaper design, print design, digital consulting and social media consulting on the square for fashion brands.”

Madisen Theobald Journalism, Class of 2016 Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing & Consumer Engagement for Botox Cosmetics Allergen New York, N.Y.

“The classes that I took at UM challenged me to think critically and gave me a strong journalistic foundation. Being a part of the UM family has also carried far beyond campus and has been a wonderful part of my first few years in journalism.”

Savannah Smith Journalism, Class of 2018 Coordinator, Digital Growth & Operations NBC News New York, N.Y.

“My education has played a huge role in getting me where I am today. Having an Integrated Marketing Communications degree really prepared me for working at a major corporation by giving me a holistic view of marketing, communications, design, business, technology, and finance.”

Natalie Reid IMC, Class of 2018 Global Communications Specialist FedEx Services Memphis, Tenn. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


“I absolutely loved my time at Ole Miss. The skills I was able to learn and hone are the very skills that I use every day! I’m thankful for the Ole Miss School of Journalism and the opportunities that have allowed me to fulfill my dream of working with top magazine brands.”

Sarah Byron Journalism, Class of 2018 Marketing Coordinator Hearst Media Solutions New York, N.Y.

“I definitely would not be where I am if it were not for my education, connections, mentors, and friendships that I made at Ole Miss. I attribute ample amounts of my success to the University of Mississippi and the people I met there who helped changed my life.”

Savannah Woods Journalism & IMC, Class of 2019 Account Manager & Marketing Manager Insight Global & The Girl Who Wore Freedom Nashville, Tenn.

“Being an Ole Miss grad does not go unnoticed on Capitol Hill. I moved to D.C. without a job with several interviews lined up and Senator Roger Wicker’s office was the most that felt like home. It was amazing knowing I would be with fellow alumni from the university I love!”

Kennedy Pope Journalism, Class of 2019 Research Assistant United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Washington, DC. 34

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“As writers assistant for the monologue team, I’m responsible for reading, researching and staying up-to-date with breaking and developing news stories, as well as proofing and fact checking all of the jokes for the monologue to make sure they’re ready for air. There are a lot of other random things I’m tasked with throughout a normal day, but those are the main elements of the job.”

Mack Hubbell IMC, Class of 2019 Monologue Writers Assistant The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon New York, N.Y.

“As an out-of-state student, I believe Ole Miss helped shape me into a more well-rounded individual. I was able to connect with people from various backgrounds and see things from new perspectives that I wouldn’t have been able to had I attended a university back in California. Additionally, I believe the professors within the IMC program were attentive, wellversed in their craft and dedicated to the success of their students.”

Malia B. Aiavao (Lia) IMC, Class of 2018 Senior Associate BMWL San Francisco, Calif.

“Being involved helped me make learn how to make connections. Making those relationships in class will help you where you are today. I made so many connections with both classmates and professors.”

Tara Hawkins IMC, Class of 2019 Influencer Marketing Senior Specialist Anheuser-Busch St. Louis, Mo.

“I am responsible for growing Ducks Unlimited’s online audience and revenue through the development and implementation of digital fundraising strategies. Specifically, I develop and manage online membership acquisition and fundraising campaigns across many digital channels, including our website, email, social media channels, and through the Ducks Unlimited mobile app.”

Pepper Taylor Self Master’s in IMC, Class of 2019 Digital Fundraising Specialist Ducks Unlimited Memphis, Tenn.

“From photography, writing, multimedia storytelling, and graphic design, to coordinating communications and collaborating with the administration and department heads at my hospital, I am constantly falling back on the education and hands-on experience I received at Ole Miss.”

Christian Johnson Journalism, Class of 2020 Marketing Liaison Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems Hayti, Mo.

“As an IMC major, the courses I took throughout my four years were all encompassing. They helped me become a well-rounded, employable student which ultimately prepared me for a career in marketing and sales.”

“Get involved! Even if there is no pay, some things I did while at Ole Miss have helped me in my job today!”

Caroline Stewart

Akim Powell

IMC, Class of 2019 Retail Sales Representative Hershey Company Atlanta, Ga.

Journalism, Class of 2020 Digital Content Producer WLOX-TV Biloxi, Miss. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE



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Over the last 75 years, many faculty and staff members have made an impact on journalism and integrated marketing communications students. Here are six to celebrate the year.

Jere Hoar, Ph.D. Ronald Farrar described Dr. Jere Hoar as someone who viewed his desire to be a teacher as a calling, and that no one treated a calling with more respect than him. Hoar joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 1956, and helped set the foundation for the journalism program as one of its first faculty members. He was a full-time journalism professor for 30 years, and continued to teach part-time from 1986-1992. Hoar received the University’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1974. He made a strong impact on his students during his time as a professor, and many students, like ‘87 graduate Tom Rieland, said he made them want to become a better journalist. “I recall getting my first paper back from Dr. Hoar [in our class on] press and contemporary thought,” Rieland said. “I thought I was a pretty good writer, but it was bleeding red from all his markups. Dr. Hoar certainly got your attention and really improved my writing, research and comprehension.” Hoar had a significant impact on ‘74 graduate Linda BufordBurks. “Dr. Hoar probably made the biggest impact on me, because he helped me get over my restraint in communicating with white people,” Buford-Burks said. “The first year as a freedom of choice student in high school left emotional scars that caused me to distance 1975 THE OLE MISS myself from whites [that ARCHIVES

were] in the same room. At one point during my journalism studies at Ole Miss, I had to give a one-on-one report to Dr. Hoar and instinctively sat close to the door, rather than near his desk. He invited me to come closer, and I did. That was the start of my allowing ‘white folks’ to enter my space without feeling uncomfortable.” Tom Bearden, a ‘69 graduate, credits Hoar for keeping his career successful. “My most influential Ole Miss Professor was Dr. Jere Hoar, who taught the class on law as it pertains to journalism,” Bearden said. “As I told him many years later, he’s the reason I never got sued during my 48 years of practicing journalism.” Hoar was a professor who left his mark on the School of Journalism and New Media at the university. His impact, guidance, and investment in students’ lives will be remembered for years to come.

Patricia Thompson Patricia Thompson is the assistant dean for student media at the University of Mississippi. She oversees all operations for the university’s Student Media Center where the Daily Mississippian and The Ole Miss yearbook are published and NewsWatch Ole Miss and Rebel Radio are produced. Before joining the staff at Ole Miss, Thompson worked for more than 25 years as a staff writer and editor for several publications, including The Washington Post and San Jose Mercury News, and assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She has won many awards throughout her career, including being named Journalism Educator of the Year for 2018-19 by the

Southeast Journalism Conference. During her 12 years at Ole Miss, her knowledge has made an impact on students she worked closely with in the Student Media Center. For 2018 graduate Lana Ferguson, the encouragement and support Thompson offered helped shape her time as a journalism student. “At The Daily Mississippian, Dean Thompson was like a ‘college mom’ for me,” Ferguson said. “We spent a lot of time together in my different roles at The DM, and she was always a steady coach who knew what we were capable of and made sure we achieved that. She was the shoulder to cry on when I was struggling, but more often, the biggest cheerleader when we were creating award-winning content. She always believes in the students when we sometimes don’t believe in ourselves.” Like Ferguson, other students cited her wisdom, knowledge and advice. “Pat Thompson probably had the largest impact on me as someone who was always pushing and challenging me as I grew as a writer and leader,” said 2016 graduate Mallory Lehenbauer.

Robert Magee, Ph.D. Dr. Robert Magee is no stranger to students and graduate students in the School of Journalism and New Media, as he is the director of the graduate program and an associate professor. Since joining the Ole Miss family in 2014, Magee has focused his energies on building the graduate program, which has soared to 100 students. However, at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, he will step down as director. “I am pleased with the leadership of Dr. Marquita Smith (our new assistant dean for graduate programs), and I will continue to be available 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


to her as needed,” Magee said. “I am writing a book on integrated marketing communication that focuses on strategy and approaches to integration. As I’ve taught the graduate principles course in recent years, I’ve become increasingly convinced that advanced students and practitioners alike, need a comprehensive overview of the field.” He has a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, a master’s degree from the University of Miami, a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (magna cum laude) from Belmont University. “I enjoyed Dr. Magee’s classes the most, and I use the skills I learned from their classes everyday in my job,” said Brady Bramlett, 2018 IMC graduate. Magee is the author of “Persuasion: A Social Science Approach” and the co-author (along with Darren Sanefski and Stefanie Goodwiller) of “Effective Graphic Design,” published by Oxford University Press.

Alysia Burton Steele Alysia Burton Steele is a multimedia journalist in the School of Journalism and New Media and author of the book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” She joined the Ole Miss family in the fall of 2012. Professor Steele is known for giving her students the “building blocks” to begin their careers. “She impacted my entire time at Ole Miss for the better,” 2020 graduate Akim Powell said. “She helped me academically, emotionally, and professionally. Professor Steele pushed me because she saw my potential.” For Steele, photography is so much more than taking pictures. “Just ‘taking photographs’ has never been enough for me,” said Steele. “Perhaps that’s why I take teaching classes so seriously. I know the power of visuals. People remember moments we are a visual society. People remember how photos make them feel - I’d like to think that every IMC and journalism major understands the importance of how we communicate visually.” Photography has been in Steele’s blood since she was accepted as one of only 300 high school students into the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts 38

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program at only 15 years old. After that, her career dream was decided. “Students studied art, painting, singing, theater, creative writing, photography, and dance,” Steele said. “We were all classically trained. We stayed in college dorms and took classes all day and had performances and art shows.” In 2006, she served as a picture editor on the photo team that won the Pulitzer Prize in the breaking news category for their Hurricane Katrina coverage. She’s also won numerous awards for her photography and picture editing. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Master’s of Photography from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication. When not teaching or working on her next book, she’s busy earning her Ph.D. in U.S. History since the Civil War, focusing on the civil rights movement. While reflecting on her passion in teaching, Steele said, “when I see students proud of the work they produce in my class - to see that they care about the quality of work and understand the principles and theory behind decisions, it makes me feel like I’ve [made] a difference.”

Zenebe Beyene, Ph.D. Zenebe Beyene is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of International Programs in the School of Journalism and New Media. He joined the Ole Miss family in 2017. He specializes in media in conflict and postconflict societies, and has taught in three other colleges on campus: Croft Institute for International Studies, Public Policy Leadership,

and Sally Barksdale Honors College. He gets his passion from personal experience as a prisoner of war. For about two years, Beyene was put in prison during his time at Ethiopia’s naval academy in 1990. He was captured by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and was finally freed 20 months later. He accredited this experience with why he has a passion about media and conflict resolution. “I personally saw the loss of 70,000 people,” said Beyene. “Experiencing this tragedy firsthand really made me think hard about how short life is. I believe that I was spared for a reason, and that reason is to serve humanity without borders. It is that conviction that drives me to travel to different countries and share my expertise. My passion in teaching is to influence people so that nobody will ever resort to violence even under the worst circumstances.” He says the most exciting part about his job is mentoring and guiding future leaders. “Nothing is comparable to teaching future leaders who will impact tomorrow,” Beyene said while he reflected on the opportunity he has before him each day in the classroom. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Kotobe College of Teacher Education, a Master’s of Arts in Teaching English in a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, an Master’s in Arts in journalism and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Beyene

taught, researched, and provided training in media and conflict resolution in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and the U.S. “As an educator, I view my students as my own children. I care about their personal and professional development regardless of their background. My goal is to always treat people with dignity, so I can [insure] a better tomorrow.”

Dennis Irwin Dennis Irwin is an Adjunct Instructor of Visual Design for the School of Journalism and New Media. Prior to his current work, Irwin was in the United States Navy for 8 years in Mass Communications. That experience taught him everything he knows about this field, he said, and introduced him to how vast the field of communications truly is. His favorite part about teaching IMC at Ole Miss is watching the students go from being terrified to take Journalism 273 (Visual Design) to producing high-level design work by the end of the semester. He holds a Master’s of Graphic Design (UI/UX Specialization) from Arizona State University, Master’s of Business Administration from Park College, a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing Management from Park College, and a minor in design, certificate in print and broadcast journalism from the Defense Information School (Department of Defense). Currently, Irwin is working on implementing a new brand initiative throughout the University of Mississippi. He is the Associate Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Ole Miss as his “9-5 job,” and spends most of his time working closely with an agency to redesign the olemiss. edu website. The redesign will be a year(s)-long project that will involve working with various departments on crafting their marketing messaging and re-imagining their web presence. When not teaching and out-of-office, Irwin enjoys making macarons and sharing them with his students. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE




or over a century, students at the University of Mississippi have worked together to produce an annual that documents the school history. What started out as a small book mostly focusing on greek life on campus, has turned into a 368-page yearbook that immortalizes the memories of all of campus life. The 2020-21 school year marks the 125th birthday of The Ole Miss. In 1896, law student Garland Lyell teamed up with sororities and fraternities on campus to create a yearbook. Lyell was made the first editor, and a committee was formed to come up with a name for the new yearbook. After a suggestion from Oxford native and student, Elma Meek, the yearbook was named The Ole Miss, originating today’s well-known nickname for the university. The anniversary has many staff members and editors from over the years taking a look back at what they created and how far the book has come. Alex McDaniel served as

editor-in-chief for the 2010-2011 school year. “It’s been 10 years, and so I have to be deliberate about giving myself some grace when it comes to work I did as a 23-year-old college student,” McDaniel said. “It’s easy to look at it now with the eyes of someone who’s been in the industry for a decade and see a million things I wish I could change or enhance. But I can say without hesitation, we left everything on the table with that book, and it’s something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life.” In the 1972 issue of the annual, editor-inchief Dan Woodliff wrote in his letter from the editor that yearbooks may be on the way out. Yet, many years later, the book is still being published in large part due to its constant innovation. For example, the yearbook switched in 2003 from black and white pages to fully colored pages to keep up with the universal colorized media world.

Design editor Maggie Culver, staff designer Madison Dyer and editor-in-chief Asia Harden prepare for their last deadline in March. The 125th volume of the yearbook became available to all full-time students at the end of April. / PHOTO BY MACKENZIE ROSS 40

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“We ultimately settled on “Silver Linings” because we felt it acknowledged both this year’s devastation as well as our hope for things to come. It was the little moments of light that helped us get through this year.” Another change has been the digital uploading of past yearbooks. This gives many alumni who have likely lost their copies of the yearbook to still be able to look back on what life was like when they walked the campus. It began in 2014, with the university archives adding the yearbooks to their collection, and now all of the yearbooks from 1897-2013 are available in a digital format through the UM library website. Another big addition has been the yearbook website, which started in 2017, that creates a place to share stories featuring more students and memories than physical pages could ever hold. The 2020-2021 school year for the yearbook also marked another significant moment, as senior Asia Harden became only the second African American editor-in-chief in the book’s history. Harden led her staff through a pandemic-year full of canceled campus events and limited interactions. “We brainstormed a lot of different options [for a theme], but we really wanted it to speak to the unprecedented nature of this academic year,” Harden said. “We ultimately settled on the theme of Silver Linings, because we felt it acknowledged both this year’s devastation as well as our hope for things to come. It was the little moments of light that helped us get through this year.” In the years to come, Harden hopes the Student Media Center (SMC) is still full of students crafting stories and editing photos. “I always love being in the SMC and I hope it continues to be a place where students can come to find their passion,” Harden said. The yearbook at the University of Mississippi has withstood the test of time, continuing to document the cheerful times in our history as well as the ugly times. As part of the Associated Student Body constitution and included in the student activities fee, the yearbook will continue to be a staple on campus for years to come.










ocial media has become a pivotal way for brands to reach new audiences in the 21st century. Today, brands use influencer marketing on Instagram, TikTok and other platforms as a more effective strategy for creating conversations about their products or services among a specific target audience. Influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021, and it’s no surprise, as the world has been spending more time than ever online during the pandemic. Many alumni of the journalism and IMC programs have fostered their knowledge from the University of Mississippi into successful careers in influencer marketing, content creating, and social media. Lindy Goodson, who graduated from Ole Miss in 2020, is a self-employed fashion & lifestyle content creator living in Maryville, Illinois. She works through partnerships with brands to post original advertising content on her Instagram, @the_real_lin_shady. “Everything I do involves a lot of linking and researching,” Goodson said. “I make sure every single thing I talk about (on social media) can be linked, not only to provide information, but also as a service to my followers.” Goodson recently became a part of the Amazon Fashion Influencers program and will soon begin doing live streams for Amazon’s social media. She’s also recently partnered with brands like Budlight, ALV Jewels, Aussie and Ulta Beauty. “To be validated in that way feels good,” Goodson said. “Anytime I get a brand deal, I feel so validated and it makes me happy.” Webb Lewis, Assistant Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy/Social Media at Ole Miss,


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is also an alumni of the IMC program. He said that because older adults have been making the switch from Facebook to Instagram recently, the platform is now home to a very wide range of audiences, making it the most popular and effective route for marketing. “Instagram is immediate. There is no long form ad copy to read through or scroll past. It’s just there, embedded just like every other piece of content,” Lewis said. “Other platforms try this approach but have yet to pull off the organic feel that Instagram has.” According to Business Insider, nearly four in five brands (79%) predominantly tap Instagram for influencer campaigns, compared with Facebook (46%) and YouTube (36%). Lewis says that influencer marketing and social media marketing works because of the impact that can be made when a consumer sees someone they admire or find relatable using a product or service. “We want to know the experiences that come from using a product and influencers are a great way to get that message out to consumers,” Lewis said. For Lewis, it’s paramount that his students at Ole Miss learn about the LINDY GOODSON 2020 IMC GRADUATE

vital differences in the various social media platforms, and how to navigate them. “I teach my students this because once you understand the tone and personality of each platform, you can then develop appropriate marketing campaigns that will spark engagement and create awareness,” Lewis said. Leah Yazzy Gibson, @leahyazzy on Instagram, graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in broadcast journalism in 2017. She started a YouTube channel in 2020, is the host of her own podcast, “LeahTalk On The Air,” and works as a social media manager for a university. Gibson says her experience at the Student Media Center gave her the tools to become a “one-woman team.” She said her years of undergraduate experience taught her how to conduct herself on camera while also letting her personality shine through. “I learned how to make social media work for me in any capacity. I can stay connected to my target audience on the platforms that I enjoy most,” Gibson said. “I’ve used my love for being in front of the camera to land me roles with brands I grew up loving, such as Southern Living.” Recently, Gibson has begun her journey with influencer marketing on Instagram. She has an Amazon storefront and is a part of the RewardStyle community, but hasn’t yet accepted any brand partnerships. “I don’t want to start being disingenuous, promoting products that I don’t actually use or sharing products that don’t appeal to me,” Gibson said. “I have really embraced affiliate marketing.” Gibson says she has thousands of folders in her phone filled with notes and vision boards she’s saved up over the past five years, but had hesitations about taking the leap to begin. That leap of faith has served Gibson and other Ole Miss graduates well. “I learned that the perfect timing will never

come,” Gibson said. “I wrote out a list of the worst-case scenarios and decided the risk was worth the reward. I found a web design team on LinkedIn, and I whipped out my computer and started planning.” LEAH GIBSON 2017 JOURNALISM GRADUATE







ancy Dupont Ph.D. has been a beloved member of the Ole Miss faculty since 2006. After spending 17 years as a broadcast journalist and 13 years as a journalism educator, Dupont joined the Ole Miss family and has since left her mark on the school. She has received many awards, including the two top awards from the Electronic News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The Burkum and Bliss awards honor those who have made extraordinary contributions to the education of journalism and broadcast journalism, and their subsequent professions. In 2010, Dupont was selected to join the inaugural class of academic fellows of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. Additionally, she has extensively published about journalism history through books and newspapers. Her presence at the School of Journalism and New Media has severely changed the future of journalism at the university. For many years, Dupont has been faculty advisor for the award-winning NewsWatch, the University of Mississippi’s daily, live, student-run news broadcast. Her focus on her students and NewsWatch deserve a great deal of recognition. Dupont has dedicated her endless energy to making NewsWatch the program it is today. In doing so, she has consistently encouraged journalism students


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to excel and grow their abilities. “Dr. Dupont taught with such a passion for broadcasting and it was absolutely infectious,” said 2010 journalism graduate Oscar Pope. “After my first course with her, I knew I had to be in or around the broadcast industry in some capacity.” From Dupont’s guidance, students have had the opportunity to gain real-world, realtime experience. Dupont, setting the highest standard of professional journalism practice, has created educational, rewarding programs that students benefit from throughout their careers. Dupont was born and raised in Gulfport, Mississippi. Growing up, she visited New Orleans each weekend with her family, which led her to pursue an education at Loyola University, located in the heart of New Orleans. After working as a reporter and discovering her love for producing, Dupont earned her doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997. The spring of 2021 brings Dupont’s departure from the university. She will be retiring, and her absence will be felt deeply throughout the Ole Miss family. She has played a vital role since she stepped foot on campus and her hard work and dedication will not soon be forgotten. Thank you, Dr. Dupont, for the changes you’ve made and the lives you’ve impacted.





ykki Newton has been a member of the Ole Miss family for 25+ years. Newton retired in spring of 2021, and her absence is felt within the halls of Farley Hall. Newton has been a friend to the faculty and students for some time and is known for her decorative, fun office. Her office was home to all of the journalistic equipment students needed to complete their projects and assignments. She rented these items out to students and through this role, Newton formed relationships with journalism students. Available to assist students with anything from anchoring to videography, Newton left an impression on those she met. “Mykki was always extremely funny and kind when we needed to rent equipment,” said 2019 journalism graduate Abbie McIntosh. “She was always willing to help us when needed. I wish her nothing but the best in her next adventures.” Newton has a rich history of creating and producing documentaries and videos for the School of Journalism and New Medial. She has more than 30 years of professional experience and has worked in a wide variety of positions. From working as a broadcast journalist, to being an actor and filmmaker, Newton has an admirable amount of knowledge and experience in the world of journalism.

“I arrived at Ole Miss in 1993 as a broadcast journalist in the Public Relations Department. I was also given the opportunity to be the host/senior producer of Mississippi Business Today, a weekly television news magazine produced by the University for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. It was the best television production I was ever involved with,” Newton said. “But when I became part of the School of Journalism and New Media in 2006, I found my home. My Ole Miss family watched me go through many drastic personal changes over 28 years, and like a good family they stood by me, supported me, and helped to create the happiness I know today.” Newton received education from both The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and The Actor’s Studio, each located in New York City. Newton has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Theater. Her extensive knowledge and abilities have helped push the School of Journalism and New Media forward. Newton’s impact on the school is felt by students, faculty and the very walls of Farley Hall. The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media celebrates Newton on her retirement and thanks her for her dedication over the last quarter of a century. 75 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


Imagine what’s possible... This student-produced magazine is just one example of what smart and talented students can do in a school where faculty and staff are devoted to their success.

We want to do more...

We want to outfit our student journalists with better newsgathering gear–from cameras to computers to an improved media production center.

We want to build a space for innovation that will help our integrated marketing communications students create the future of the industry.

But we need you.

Help students to imagine what’s possible for the

next 75 years.

Learn more about supporting the School of Journalism and New Media by contacting our Development Associate, William Fisher at


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Stay up to date on what’s going on around the School of Journalism and New Media through our social media! @UMJOURIMC

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Snowfall at Farley Hall in February 2021 / PHOTO BY MACKENZIE ROSS THE REVIEW 2021-2022

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