“The teaching is very real world and hands-on,” Fiene says. “It’s not so much about reading textbooks and taking exams, but about the application of concepts through projects, presentations and working with clients.” The dedication to student growth means School of Journalism and New Media faculty members work long hours each week to help their students grow and succeed, according to Norton. They don’t treat their work as a job. It’s a mission.
Assistant professor Zenebe Beyene; Assistant Dean Scott Fiene; a nationally regarded anchor; and Dean Will Norton Jr., in the Student Media Center
Abbie McIntosh, NewsWatch station manager, does camera work during a press conference.
School of Journalism student Semaj Jordan talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John H. White at the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. 24
New Direction, New Strength The IMC program has grown to become one of the most popular majors at the university, in part, because of that dedication. “I think two of the big drivers are what is taught — curriculum — and how it is taught — instruction,” Fiene says. “Our students learn how to write, how to persuade, how to sell ideas, how to understand what customers want, the importance of visual communication, how to work on a team and many other things.” Fiene says that he and many other professors in the School of Journalism and New Media have “one foot in journalism and one in marketing.” That’s also true of the school itself. Students still learn the fundamentals of writing, no matter their major, but IMC majors accounted for over 1,200 of the school’s more than 1,600 enrolled students in fall 2018. IMC provided the rocket fuel for the school’s growth. The Ole Miss IMC major was born in 2011, and assistant professor Evangeline Ivy was there in the delivery room. At first, Ivy taught introductory-level IMC classes, which were full to bursting. One of her classes had more than 100 students. “In the first couple of years of IMC, I think I taught almost every student in the program,” Ivy says. Although she has worked for nearly 20 years marketing nonprofit groups, from universities to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she first came to Ole Miss as a young print journalism graduate student during the early 1990s intent on becoming the editor of a magazine. Instead, Ivy found that the skills she learned as a young Ole Miss journalist helped her succeed in her marketing career. That merger of writing skills and business savvy makes the IMC major valuable to students, she says. “It’s not just marketing. Our program is integrated marketing communications,” Ivy says. “We focus on the communications part of marketing. The message is most important to us. If you can’t get your target audience to understand what you have to offer and build a relationship with them, whatever you’re promoting is not going to be as successful.” Senior lecturer Robin Street first taught for the Ole Miss journalism department in 1989, teaching both advanced reporting and advanced public relations through the years. She leads the university’s Public Relations and Marketing student group, which wins awards every year. Even before IMC came along, her students worked in internships with local and
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